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tendent. MILO M. QUAIFE, Editor 



Theodora W. Youmans — How Wisconsin Women Won 

the Ballot 3 

William W. Bartlett — Jean Brunet, Chippewa Valley 

Pioneer . 33 

M. M. QuAiFE — Wisconsin's First Literary Magazine 43 

W. A. Titus— Historic Spots in Wisconsin 57, 160, 284, 382 

John B. Parkinson — Memories of Early Wisconsin and 

the Gold Mines 119 

Joseph Schafer — Documenting Local History 142 

Anonymous — A Treasure Quest 166 

General Charles King — Memories of a Busy Life. . . 215, 360 
Louise Phelps Kellogg — The Services and Collections of 

Lyman Copeland Draper 244 

M. M. QuAiFE — Wisconsin's Saddest Tragedy 264 

Eugene Walter Leach — Marshall Mason Strong, Racine 

Pioneer 329 

Louise Phelps Kellogg — The First Traders in Wisconsin . 348 


Letters of a Badger Boy in Blue: The Atlanta Cam- 
paign 63 

Some War-Time Letters 171, 301 

A Letter from Racine in 1843 320 

On the Road to Wisconsin — Charles Minton Baker's 
Journal from Vermont to Wisconsin; Letters of 
George B. Smith 389 


The Chicago Convention of 1860; Increase Allen Lap- 
ham, Father of Forest Conservation 99 

Visions of a Wisconsin Gold Seeker; More Recollections 
of Abraham Lincoln; Vital Statistics of the First 
Wisconsin Cavalry in the Civil War 290 


The Meaning of Mondovi; The Landing Place of Jean 
Nicolet; Some Winnebago Chieftains; British Offi- 

cers at Milwaukee; Early Knowledge of the Dells 
of the Wisconsin; The Origin of Viroqua; The 
Home of the Inventor of the Self-Knotter; The 

Naming of Neenah ; Honest Amasa Cobb 201 

Abraham Lincoln in Milwaukee; When Did the Use of 
Bows and Arrows Cease?; Significance of Indian 
Names; The Career of Chief Waubunsee; Early 
Pierce County; The Horicon Marsh; The Welsh 
Contribution to Wisconsin; The Story of the Stock- 
bridges; The Founding of Rhinelander; The Career 

of Marinette '408 


The Significance of "Neenah" 419 


The Society and the State 109 

Some Wisconsin Public Documents 112, 424 

Additions to Historical Society 109, 212, 325, 421 

Kensington Runestone 212 

Our Contributors 112, 212, 325, 423 

The Smiley Papers 421 

The Stilson Diary 422 


VOL. V ri- ! 




tendent, MILO M. QUAIFE, Editor 



How Wisconsin Women Won the Ballot 

Theodora W. Youmans 3 

Jean Brunet, Chippewa Valley Pioneer 

Wm, W. Bartlett 33 

Wisconsin's First Literary Magazine 

M. M. Quaife 43 

Historic Spots in Wisconsin W, A, Titus 57 


Letters of a Badger Boy in Blue: The Atlanta Cam- 
paign 63 

Historical Fragments : 
The Chicago Convention of 1860; Increase Allen 
Lapham, Father of Forest Conservation 99 

Survey of Historical Activities: 

The Society and the State; Some Wisconsin Public 
Documents 109 

The Society as a body is not responsible for statements or opinions advanced 
in the following pages by contributors 


Theodora W. Youmans 

When the legislature of Wisconsin grasped the first 
available opportunity to ratify the amendment to the 
constitution of the United States abolishing sex as a qual- 
ification of voters, it closed a chapter of surpassing in- 
terest in the history of the state and ended a campaign 
which had continued actively for fifty years. The legis- 
lature passed a resolution ratifying the federal amendment 
on the morning of June 10, 1919. The Wisconsin Woman's 
Suffrage Association and its predecessor, The Woman 
Suffrage Association of the State of Wisconsin, which 
had led the movement since 1S69, continued to function 
some months longer, in order to support, with money 
and influence, the efforts of the National American Woman 
Suffrage Association for the ratification of the amendment 
in other states. It formally dissolved, its work done, in 
March, 1920. The amendment was promulgated by the 
Secretary of State as the nineteenth amendment to the 
federal constitution in August, 1920, and Wisconsin women 
voted at the primary and general elections held a few weeks 
later. a 2 3 i ... 

Discussion of woman suffrage had begun in Wisconsin 
even before Wisconsin had achieved statehood. There has 
long been a tradition in the state that the first consti- 
tutional convention, called in the territory in 1846, serious- 
ly considered the enfranchisement of women. An exam- 
ination of the debate on suffrage in this convention, however, 
precludes that view. The enfranchisement of negroes 
and Indians and the naturalization of immigrants who 
were already swarming into the territory made one of the 
important problems of the convention and aroused vigon)us 
debate. A Milwaukee member, James Magone, who had 


Theodora W. Youmans 

the reputation of being a wag, offered an amendment to the 
pending sutlrage measure that the word "male'' be stricken 
out and the right of suffrage be accorded females as well 
as males. Moses M. Strong urged that women should not 
be **tacked onto negroes/' Mr. Magone insisted. The 
amendment was lost. The record suggests that the woman 
suffrage amendment was designed primarily to embarrass 
those members who favored liberal franchise provision 
for negro and foreign men.^ 

There was, however, one phase of ''women's rights" 
which was seriously considered and was adopted by the 
convention — the ownership of property by married women. 
This provision was bitterly opposed by some members, 
one of them, Edward G. Ryan, who later became chief 
justice of the supreme court of Wisconsin, declaring "it 
violated both the customs of society and the express 
commands of the Bible." This married women's property 
clause was one of the reasons why the first constitution 
drafted was rejected by the voters. 

The constitution drafted a year later was of a more 
conservative character; it became the constitution of the 
state of Wisconsin and has so remained up to this time. 
This constitution contained no provision for securing 
property to married women, but a law making such pro- 
vision was passed by the legislature only two years after 
Wisconsin became a state.^ 

In the early days of statehood abolition of slavery, 
women's rights, and the temperance cause were inextricably 
intertwined, and the advocate of one was apt to be the advo- 
cate of all. Two of the Free-soil newspapers of Wisconsin, 
the Southport (Kenosha) Telegraph, edited by C. L. Sholes, 
and the Oshkosh True Democrat, under the management of 

^Wisconnn Magazine of History, III, 227-30; Wisconsin Historical Collections, 

* Wis. Hist. CoUs., XXVI, 43-45. 

How Wisconsin Women Won the Ballot 5 

James Densmore, were early champions of woman suffrage. 
In 1849 Densmore challenged the editor of the Milwaukee 
Sentinel to say why women should not have a voice in 
making laws. Densmore said he expected to be called 
a "visionary fanatic" for taking such a stand. The Sentinel 
replied May 31 in a tone of levity, "Women are confessedly 
angels, and angels do not vote." 

The question, nevertheless, would not down. As early 
as July 1, 1851 the Athenaean Society of the University 
of Wisconsin debated, Resolved, That the female sex are 
not inferior to the male sex — that they should enjoy like 
facilities with the latter for acquiring a liberal education, 
and that the right of suffrage should be extended to them." 

In 1853 Clarina Howard Nicholson and Lydia Fowler 
toured the state making public addresses in favor of tem- 
perance and incidentally scattering suffrage seed. Two 
years later, in the autumn of 1855, Lucy Stone visited Wis- 
consin and gave lectures in several of its larger towns. 
As only the progressive papers noticed her visit it is not 
possible to reconstruct her itinerary. She spoke at Madison 
three times: the evenings of November 9 and 10 were de- 
voted to "Woman's Rights"; Sunday, the eleventh, she 
spoke on slavery. Her lectures were largely attended, 
and those who heard her were "agreeably disappointed" 
both in her manner and in the subject matter of her address- 
es.^ November 21 to 23 she was at Kenosha, where the 
first lecture "gave the highest satisfaction" and she was 
recognized as "confessedly at the head of the able women 
engaged in that calling."^ In her suffrage lectures Lucy 
Stone advocated the circulation of petitions to the legis- 
lature for an amendment to the state constitution per- 
mitting women to vote. Three such petitions wore pn^- 
sented by C. C. Sholes, senator for Kenosha County, to the 

' Madison Wisconsin State Journal, Nov. 13, 1855. 
* Kenosha Tribune and Telegraph, Nov. 82, 1855. 


Theodora W, Youmans 

senate (luring the session of 1856. They were referred to the 
coininittoe on the expiration and reenaetment of laws, 
and never heard from again. ^ 

In the assembly at the same session a more advanced 
step was taken. January 22 Hamilton H. Gray, editor 
and Democratic member from Lafayette County,^ intro- 
duced a "bill to extend the elective franchise to feme 
covert and feme sole in certain cases." This bill was re- 
ferred to the judiciary committee, which reported adversely 
on its passage; on March 12 it was laid upon the table. ^ 

There is an unverified tradition that the first society 
for the promotion of woman suffrage in Wisconsin was 

^ Senate Journal, 1856, 197. The following names are given: "Three petitions of 
R. H. Deming, Janet Bone, Anna Lewis, E. M. Brande, and others in relation to granting 
the right of suffrage to feihales." 

^ Hamilton H. Gray was an editor who conducted the ablest newspaper in Lafayette 
County, called The Pick and Gad. It was begun in 1854 and contained literary reviews 
and discussions of social and economic questions. Editor Gray was an advanced thinker, 
a friend of enfranchisement for all the oppressed. He probably heard Lucy Stone at 
'ShuUsburg, where he was then publishing The Pick and Gad. This information was 
received from P. H. Conley, of the Lafayette County Historical Society. 

^ From the oflfice of the Secretary of State we have obtained a copy of this bill, which 
reads as follows: 

A Bill to extend the elective franchise to femes covert and femes Sole in certain Cases. 

The people of the State of Wisconsin represented in Senate and Assembly do enact as 
Section One 

Every Feme Sole of the age of twenty-one years or upwards who is seized of estate 
real of the value of two hundred dollars and every feme Covert (whose husband is absent 
from the state and who has been for two years next preceding any general election) shall 
be deemed qualified electors to vote at any annual or special school meeting held in this 
state after the approval of this act as provided in the following section. 
Section Two 

At the next general election in the year 1856 the electors of this state shall signify 
their approval or disapproval of the provisions of the foregoing section in the following 
manner: All voters who approve of the privileges given in the foregoing section shall de- 
posit in the ballot box prepared to receive votes for members of Congress. A ballot with 
the following words written or printed thereon (to net) "for womens voting" those voters 
who disapprove of said section one and are opposed to womans voting as provided in said 
section shall deposit in said box a ballot with the following words written or printed 
thereon (to net) "against womans voting." And if a majority of votes cast at said election 
upon this question are for womans voting then and in that case woman married and un. 
married shall be deemed qualified electors under the provisions of Section one of this act. 

How Wisconsin Women Won the Ballot 


organized at Janesville, before the Civil War, probably 
as the result of the lectures of Lucy Stone. No records 
of its meetings have been found. ^ 

All efforts for woman suffrage were abated during the 
Civil War, its advocates giving themselves wholeheartedly 
to the cause of freedom as exemplified by the abolition 
of slavery. But when the war was over, its objects achieved, 
it seemed desperately hard to these devoted, high-minded 
women that uneducated colored men, just released from 
slavery, should be adjudged worthy of the ballot which 
was still withheld from the educated and patriotic white 
women who had helped to save the nation and free the 
slaves. They were astounded to have the discriminatory 
word *'male," which had never before been used in the 
federal constitution, appear in the fourteenth amendment, 
and made vigorous effort to prevent it. Their failure in this 
effort, due partly to the influence of those who had been 
their friends and supporters, and who now joined in the 
rallying cry — "This is the negro's hour" — made them realize 
as never before the force and weight of the opposition. 

The Civil War, however, had developed courage and 
self-reliance in women. Many of them had managed the 
farm, the shop, the oflSce, as well as the family, while the man 
of the house was away at the war. Women had achieved 
notable results in the organization and management of 
the Sanitary Commission and other relief agencies. So 
added ability and determination were enlisted in the 
suffrage cause after the war. 

Section Three 

This act shall be in force and take effect from and after its passage to atitliorizc a 
vote as required by Sec. 1. Article 3 of the Constitution and if apiirovc<l by the electors 
of this state at the general election of 1850 shall take effect an<l be in fonv on the first day 
of January 1857 and thereafter womans shall be deemed electors quahfitxl to vote at 
annual and special school district meetings. 

8 The Janesville Gazette, Ai)ril 29, 185G. announced a lecture on the "Social and 
Domestic Influence of Women," by Miss Dclpliia P. Haker, who was "opposed to the 
strong-minded feminines of these latter days." This lecture may have been intendeil 
to counteract the influence of the woman's rights society. 


Theodora W, Youmans 

The first state convention for universal suffrage was 
held at Janesville, October 9 and 10, 1867.« When called 
to order, it was designated the ''Impartial Suffrage Con- 
vention/' The moving spirits were the Honorable John 
T. Dow, member of the state assembly; Joseph Baker of 
Janesville; Mrs. L. R. Stewart of Brodhead; Mrs. J. H. 
Stillman of Whitewater ; Mrs. F. Harris Reid of Beaver Dam ; 
and Mrs. Jennie L. Hildebrand of Fond du Lac. Letters 
were read from Lucy Stone and Susan B. Anthony, and 
steps were taken to form a permanent state organization. 
An executive committee was appointed for this purpose. 
A committee on finance was also chosen. The Janesville 
Daily Gazette gave extended notices of this convention, 
with the purpose of which the editor, A. M. Thomson, 
declared himself in sympathy. ''All that is necessary," 
he wrote, "to carry forward this great measure to a success- 
ful issue, is for the women themselves to take hold vigor- 
ously and determinedly of the good work."^^ 

Coincident with this organization, amd fostered by 
the same leaders, was a determined effort to secure a 
constitutional amendment for this reform. John T. Dow, 
assemblyman for Rock County, introduced into the legis- 
lature of 1867 a joint resolution for such an amendment. 
This resolution passed both the senate and the house, 
and was approved by Governor Fairchild, April 11, 1867. 
In the assembly the supporters of the measure secured a 
vote of sixty -three in favor to twenty-two opposed. How- 
ever, it was required by the constitution, then as now, 
that an amendment should pass two legislatures before 

^ The Wisconsin Historical Library possesses a copy of the Proceedings of this conven- 
tion as well as of the addresses of the Reverend S. Farrington of Janesville and the Rever- 
end Sumner Ellis of Milwaukee, delivered before the convention. 

^° It is interesting to note that "resolutions were forwarded to the convention by a 
meeting of citizens of the village of Menomonee," probably Menomonee Falls, in Wauke- 
sha Coimty. 

" Janesville Daily Gazette, Oct. 10, 1867. 
Assembly Journal, 1867; Laws of Wisconsin, 1867, 200. 

How Wisconsin Women Won the Ballot 


being submitted to the people. The real struggle was 
therefore postponed until 1868; and it was to create 
public sentiment therefor that the Janes ville convention 
of 1867 was held. 

The legislature of 1868 received several well-signed 
petitions asking for the ratification of this proposed amend- 
ment. The bill was introduced in the assembly by Presi- 
dent William C. Whitford of Milton College. Mr. Dow, 
who was no longer a member, organized a lobby for the 
measure. Notwithstanding these strong friends, the gener- 
al apathy on the subject was so marked that the resolution 
was rejected in the assembly by a vote of thirty-six to 

Meanwhile a state convention on a large scale was 
organized and held in Milwaukee. It was arranged by two 
young professional women of Milwaukee, Dr. Laura Ross, 
a physician, and Miss Lila Peckham, a lawyer whose 
early death was a great loss to the suffrage cause. Dr. 
Ross had come to Milwaukee to practice in 1858, the third 
woman, it is said, in the United States to receive a medical 
degree, and perhaps the first to practice medicine in a 
western state. Later she married Dr. E. B. Wolcott, the 
distinguished surgeon. She was for many years an influen- 
tial figure in the struggle for woman's rights in Wisconsin. 

The convention was held February 24 and 25, 1869, in 
the old city hall. National leaders appeared in force, tlie 
speakers including Mary A. Livermore, Susan B. Anthon>\ 
and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. A Waukesha gentleman, 
member of my own family, who as a lad strayed into this 
convention two evenings, remembers flattening liimself 
against the wall because the chairs were all occuj^iod. the 
audience being made up mostly of women. Unfortunately ho 
remembers little more. At this convention a commit too was 
appointed to draft a constitution and effect a state organiza- 

" Assembly Journal, 1868; Janesville Gazette, Feb. 1 and March 5, 1868. 


Theodora W. Youmans 

Who Are The Anti-Suffragists? 

The following constructive state organizations have en- 

State Teachers Association. 
Federation of Labor. 
Federation of Women's Clubs. 
Ladies of the Maccabees. 

Farmers* Society of Equity. 

Ministerial Association. 

Woman's Christian Temperance Union. 

The only state organizations to adopt resolutions against 
woman's enfranchisement are: 

German- American Alliance (which in Wisconsin represents 
the brewery interests) ; State Retail Liquor Dealers (saloon- 
keepers) . 

Wisconsin Woman Suffrage Association, Waukesha, Wis. 

How Wisconsin Women Won the Ballot 


tion. Its chairman was a Congregational clergyman, the 
Reverend John Allison. It was probably at this convention 
that the Woman Suffrage Association of the State of Wiscon- 
sin came into existence, the earlier organization at Janesville 
having died with the defeat of the amendment to the state 

After the Milwaukee convention had concluded its 
sessions the national speakers went on to Madison, where 
the legislature was in session, and gave addresses before 
that body on the evening of February 26. Six of the Mil- 
waukee women, including Dr. Ross and the Reverend 
Augusta Chapin accompanied the speakers. Governor 
Lucius Fairchild, then and later a friend of woman suffrage, 
presided at the meeting. It had been hoped to influence 
the legislature to pass a bill granting school suffrage to 
women; but such a bill was defeated in the senate on the 
day before the suffrage meeting at the capitol.^^ 

An interesting personality of those early days was Frau 
Mathilde Anneke, a German woman forced to leave her 
native country after the uprising of 1848. She and her 
husband. Colonel Anneke, were friends of Carl Schurz and 
members of the company which he brought to Wisconsin. 
Frau Anneke had edited a newspaper for women in Ger- 
many, and when she and her husband were obliged to 
flee from that country she brought with her certain es- 
sentials of her Frauen Zeitung and continued the editing 
of the paper in Milwaukee. She also established a girls' 
school in that city. She was in sympathy with all ad- 
vancement for women, an apostle of woman suffrage, 
and the record tells us that when Miss Antliony was on 
trial in the Rochester court, charged with illegal voting. 

The minutes of this convention are in the Milwaukee Srntinrl. Feb. H an«l 
See also Mrs. Stanton's letters in Husted and Anthony. Historic of Woinau Su ffrage (N. V. . 
1882), II, 373-75. 

A full report of the Madison meeting is in the Wisconsin Stair Journal, Feb. ^7, 
1869; also in Mrs. Stanton's letters, as cited above. 

Theodora W. Youmans 

Frail Aimeke sent $50 to help defray the expenses of the 
trial. Other sympathizers in this state and all over the 
country contributed to the same cause. Frau Anneke was 
the WLsconsin delegate at a national convention held in 
AVashington in the spring of 1869. 

The association effected by the Milwaukee convention 
of 1869 began at once to organize local units and to draw to- 
gether into a single association those interested in this 
unpopular cause. Early suffrage organizations are known 
to have been formed at Fond du Lac, Richland Center, 
Baraboo, Evansville, Boscobel, and Union Grove. At 
a meeting in the latter place the press reporter stated of 
one of the speakers that "while her address was extremely 
refined and eloquent it was what might be termed a 'pulver- 
izer' and we only regret that there were not more of the 
opponents of woman suffrage present to be 'pulverized.'" 
In March, 1870, a state convention was held at Janesville, 
at which Mrs. Stanton was present. Miss Peckham and 
the Reverend H. D. Maxon were the local speakers at this 
**large and enthusiastic meeting. "^^ 

No other state convention is known to have been held 
during the entire decade of the seventies. Education was 
the great need, and the public lyceums gave splendid op- 
portunity for woman suffrage lectures. Many such lectures 
were given around the state, and many women were thereby 
inspired to take up suffrage work and did in fact become 
suffrage leaders. Early speakers in our state included Mrs. 
Livermore, Mrs. Stanton, Miss Anthony, and Phoebe 
Cousins. When Mrs. Stanton lectured in Milwaukee in 1877 
she was entertained by the leaders of social affairs and 
gained many adherents for the cause. Suffrage literature 

^« "History of the SuflFrage Movement in Wisconsin," by Dr. Laura Ross Wolcott, 
in Husted and Anthony, History, III, 638-48. 

1^ Marion V. Dudley, Suffrage for Woman. A Plea in Its Behalf (Madison, 1880). 
Pamphlet copy of speech delivered before the Senate Committee on State Affairs, March 
2, 1880. 

How Wisconsin Women Won the Ballot 


was distributed, suffrage petitions were circulated, money 
was collected to help in the support of national work, 
and delegates were sent from Wisconsin to the national 
conventions in Washington. So suffrage work done in 
the beginning was of substantially the same character 
as in later years. Among new leaders who arose during 
this period were Mrs. Marion V. Dudley and Mrs. Emma 
Bascom, wife of President Bascom of the state university. 
An Equal Suffrage Association was formed at Madison 
in 1878 with Mrs. Bascom as president. Marathon County 
was organized and sponsored organizations at Grand Rapids, 
Mrs. Stella Baker, secretary, and at Mosinee, Kate 
Fellows, secretary. Berlin and Mukwonago were organized 
by 1880. In the latter place dwelt Dr. W. P. Collins, 
who as early as 1858 supported woman suffrage and proph- 
esied that women would be enfranchised within ten years. 

Racine at that time counted among its residents one 
who was destined to have her name linked indissolubly 
with the suffrage cause in Wisconsin, the Reverend Olympia 
Brown. Born in Michigan, she was bred to a belief in 
freedom and opportunity for all, men and women alike, 
by her mother, Mrs. Lephia O. Brown, who was, says the 
daughter, ''the earliest reformer I ever knew." Olympia 
Brown succeeded with great effort in securing a college 
education at Mount Holyoke and Antioch colleges, and 
also at the Theological School connected with St. Lawrence 
University at Canton, New York. 

Mrs. Brown had served as pastor of a Universalist 
church in Massachusetts and had done pioneer work 
campaigning in Kansas with Miss Anthony. She came to 
Wisconsin in 1878, became pastor of the Universalist 
Church at Racine, and soon associated herself with such 
suffrage organizations as there were in the state. In 1880 
she was one of two Wisconsin delegates to the national 
suffrage convention in Indianapolis. 


Theodora W. Youmans 

In that same year a forward movement was made in 
Wisconsin. A bill for a referendum was submitted to the 
legislature of that year and passed both houses.^^ During 
the summer of 1880 the national leaders held a series of 
conventions in the states of the Middle West. Wisconsin's 
promising condition attracted their attention, and a state 
convention was held June 4 and 5 in Milwaukee, at which 
Miss Anthony, Mrs. Stanton, Lillie Devereux Blake, and 
other national leaders were present. Twenty -five delegates 
were present from the local associations throughout the 

Suffrage workers were disappointed over the defeat in 
the legislature of 1881 of their bill for a popular referendum 
on woman suffrage, and not until the summer of 1882 was 
any further organized effort made. On August 28, 1882 a 
call was issued for a meeting at Madison, signed by fifty- 
five prominent men and women of the state, headed by 
General Fairchild and General E. E. Bryant. The conven- 
tion opened September 7. Lucy Stone and her husband, 
Henry Blackwell, were present; also Mary E. Haggart and 
two suffrage workers from England. About thirty -five 
delegates were present from the several local associations. 
The convention began with an address of great force and 
cogency by President Bascom. The next morning's busi- 
ness session was presided over by John M. Olin, a prominent 
Madison lawyer. It was determined to create a new or- 
ganization, which should be independent of the former 
Wisconsin association. However, a connecting link with 
the old association was preserved by the election of its pres- 
ident, Mrs. Wolcott, to the presidency of the new association. 
Among the other officers chosen were the Reverend Olympia 
Brown, first vice president, and Mrs. Helen R. Olin, chair- 
man of the executive committee. It is an open question 
whether or not the organization at Madison should be con- 
's Madison Wisconsin State Journal, March 3, 1880. 

How Wisconsin Women Won the Ballot 


sidered as a reorganization of the earlier association, which 
had during its latter years been almost localized in ]Mil- 
waukee. The new organization was the Wisconsin Woman's 
Suffrage Association.^^ 

A state organizer, appointed shortly after the Madison 
convention, was sent out to develop suffrage sentiment. 
Lectures were given and clubs were formed in Milwaukee, 
Wauwatosa, Bay View, Rochester, North Prairie, New 
London, Oshkosh, and Ripon. In Milwaukee two new 
organizations came into existence, the South Side Woman 
Suffrage Association and the Olympic Club of the North 
Side. The Whitewater Woman Suffrage Club was organized 
in October, 1882, and among other activities conducted a 
column * 'Equality Before the Law" in the Whitewater 
Register, It soon numbered one hundred members. 

In June, 1884, on the resignation of Mrs. Wolcott, Mrs. 
Emma C. Bascom became president of the Wisconsin 
Woman's Suffrage Association. She in turn was succeeded 
at the convention at Richland Center in the autumn of 1884 
by Mrs. Hattie Tyng Griswold of Columbus. This con- 
vention of 1884 was the first regular convention after the 
reorganization of 1882. Special meetings had been held 
in 1883 at Racine and Janesville. Richland Center, thus 
early identified with woman suffrage, remained a center 
of suffrage interest until the enfranchisement of women 
was achieved, largely because of the devotion of the James 
family. Two sisters-in-law, Mrs. Laura and Mrs. Georgia 
James, were active workers and the two husbands were 
hardly less interested. Senator N. L. James in 188.5 intro- 
duced the measure giving school suffrage to women, and 

There has been much confusion about the date of the birth of the Wiw^onsin 
Woman's Suffrage Association. The report in the Madison Wisconsin Siatr Journal. 
Sept. 8, 1882, proves this to be the date. See also Wisconsin Woman Suffrage Directory 
(Milwaukee, 1885). This is supposed to have been prepared by Sarah H. Hiclianl.s n 
Milwaukee teacher, for the convention of 188.'>. She refers to the Mndison <xin\ cntion as 
"the reorganization in '82." 


Theodora W, Youmans 

Sonat()r David H. James the measure which brought about 
the rofereiulum of 1912. Miss Ada L. James, daughter of 
Laura and David G. James, has been an active suffragist all 
her life. 

jNIrs. Brown became president of the Wisconsin Woman's 
Suffrage x\ssociation in 1885, having been elected at the an- 
nual convention in Madison as successor to Mrs. Griswold. 
She was destined to serve as president for thirty years, 
never failing in devotion, energy, or efficiency. In 1913 
she became honorary president of the association. 

The first year of Mrs. Brown's presidency was marked 
by the introduction and passage of a law giving school 
suffrage to women, contingent upon the favor of the voters 
at the election in November, 1886. That vote proved 
favorable, 43,581 votes being cast in favor and 38,988 
against such enfranchisement. 

The text of the school suffrage law gave rise to compli- 
cations. It provided that women under proper conditions 
of sanity, residence, etc., should have a right to vote at 
''any election pertaining to school matters." The phrase 
"pertaining to school matters" was ambiguous. Many 
people believed that the legislature, wittingly or unwit- 
tingly, had really given full suffrage or nearly full suffrage to 
women by providing that they might vote at any election 
pertaining to school matters. Following this assumption, 
Mrs. Brown and other women attempted to vote at the 
municipal election in 1887 and in some places their ballots 
were received. In Racine Mrs. Brown's ballot was rejected 
and as a test case she brought suit against the election in- 
spectors of that city for refusing to accept her vote. The 
case was argued before Judge John B. Winslow of the circuit 
court, later chief;justice of the supreme court of Wisconsin, 
who rendered a decision that under the provision of the 

Mrs. Alura Collins Hollister represented the association as chairman of the legisla- 
tive committee in 1885. See her recent reminiscences in the Waukesha Freeman, on her 
experiences at that time. 

How Wisconsin Women Won the Ballot 


law women were entitled to vote at that election and for 
all candidates. An appeal was taken to the supreme court, 
which reversed the findings of the lower court, declaring 
the intent of the law to be to confer school suffrage only. 
This decision was written by Justice John B. Cassoday. 
The long Htigation cost the little band of suffragists $2,000, 
which they paid by unremitting devotion and self-sacrifice. 

The school suffrage law was practically a dead letter 
until 1901, when an act of the legislature provided separate 
ballot boxes for women. On April 1, 1902, Wisconsin 
women voted on the question of issuing certain school bonds. 
The number of women voting at that time was small, a prece- 
dent generally followed while the franchise of women was 
limited. The small number of women voting on school 
questions was frequently occasion of reproach to those 
seeking wider suffrage for women. However, on occasions 
of especial interest a large women's vote was cast at these 
elections. In the spring of 1919, when the control of the 
Milwaukee school board depended on the election of new 
members, 40,000 Milwaukee women are said to have voted. 

An important factor in the school suffrage contest and 
for many years later was the Wisconsin Citizen, organ 
of the Wisconsin Woman's Suffrage Association, estab- 
lished in 1887. This little sheet of four pages, four columns 
to the page, appeared every month, the subscription 
price being twenty-five cents per year.^^ Editors from 
1887 to 1917, when the paper was discontinued, included 
Mrs. M P. Dingee, Racine; Mrs. H. H. Charlton, Brod- 
head; Miss Lena V. Newman, Brodhead; Mrs. H. M. 
Youmans, Waukesha. The story of the Citizen, a dcnighty 
defender of the faith for three decades, would be of interest, 
had we space to relate it. It was first published at Racine, 
later for many years at Brodhead, and still later in Wau- 

" The Wisconsin Historical Library has a complete file of The Wisconsin Citiarn^ 
the gift of the Reverend Olympia Brown. 


Theodora W, Youmans 

kesha. After its publication was suspended, monthly 
bulletins were issued to take its place. 

About 1902 suffrage headquarters were established at 
the state capital **for the distribution of literature and 
knowledge." Here also was kept a register of men and 
women who wished women citizens to vote. The circu- 
lation of the Tax Paying Woman's Pledge was actively 
promoted in Wisconsin, the text of the pledge circulated 
by the Oshkosh society being as follows: 

We, the tax paying women of Wisconsin, hereby agree to do what 
we can by protest and argument to emphasize the fact that taxation 
without representation is tyranny as much for American women today 
as it was for American colonists in 1778. And we also pledge ourselves 
that when 5,000 or more women in Wisconsin shall have similarly 
enrolled we will simultaneously take action by whatever method may 
seem best in accordance with official advice from the Wisconsin Suffrage 
Association to the end that public attention may be thoroughly and 
effectively called to the injustice and injury done to women by taxing 
them without giving them any voice as to how their money should 
be employed. 

In the summer of 1896 the Wisconsin Woman's Suf- 
frage Association kept open house for ten days at the 
Monona Lake Assembly; Dr. Anna Howard Shaw was one 
of the Chautauqua speakers, her audience numbering 
4,000 persons. 

Organization, public speaking, press publicity, conven- 
tions, in those days as later, had one object, suffrage legis- 
lation in state and nation. Wisconsin legislators whose 
especial aim was to avoid making enemies found woman 
suffrage a stumbling block in the path. A typical incident 
happened in April, 1901 when Assemblyman David Evans' 
measure, "designed to pave the way to woman suffrage" — 
it was a memorial to Congress — was under discussion 
in the assembly. The Wisconsin State Journal of that 
date tells us that "the sergeant was ordered to bring in 
the timid who sought to dodge the vote. Half a score of 
half-ashamed men on whom female constituents had 

How Wisconsin Women Won the Ballot 19 

brought pressure came trooping to their seats." The assem- 
bly killed the measure by a vote of 61 to 20, although it had 
passed the bill on its third reading. 

Measures embodying full or partial suffrage for women 
continued to pour in at each session of the legislature; 
and frequently that body was urged to use its influence 
to secure the passage of suffrage legislation by Congress. 
These measures received some favorable consideration 
during the first decade of the new century, but not enough 
to secure their passage. 

Wisconsin suffragists and especially their leader, Mrs. 
Brown, were greatly interested in a decision of the Supreme 
Court in 1884 that the office of member of Congress is 
created by the constitution and that the states do not 
by right prescribe the qualifications for voting for such 
members. In the belief that Congress alone had the right 
to give women the vote for members of that body, reso- 
lutions supporting that idea were passed at a number of 
Wisconsin conventions, with petitions addressed directly 
to members of Congress or to the state legislature asking 
that it pass a memorial to Congress urging such action. 

The proposed amendment to the constitution of the 
United States, then known as the sixteenth but destined 
to become in fact the nineteenth amendment, was also 
the object of unceasing effort. 

So the cause advanced, with no appearance of advance- 
ment sometimes, from one year's end to another. How- 
ever, by the opening of the year 1911 suffrage leaders were 
convinced that they had a better chance than ever before 
for the passage of a suffrage measure. Many men known 
to be friendly were included in the membership of the 
legislature, among them David G. James in the soiiato and 
J. H. Kamper in the assembly, both of whom introchiced 
bills to give women of the state full suffrage, contingent 
upon the approval of the electors. A number of w( ll- 

Theodora W, Youmans 

known women were about the legislature that winter in 
behalf of various measures concerning the welfare of women 
and children. They interested themselves in the suffrage 
situation and their efforts were seconded by those of Miss 
INIary Swain Wagner of Poughkeepsie, New York, an 
active propagandist. These women made a thorough 
canvass of the senate and assembly, and a joint hearing 
was attended by a large group of speakers and a crowd 
of sympathizers. Facing this array of numbers and talent — 
there were thirteen prosuffrage speakers — was one lone 
antisuffragist. Assemblyman Carl Dorner, whose address, 
it was said, called forth "roars of laughter" and later hisses 
from the audience. 

The suffrage bill passed the senate March 31 by a 
vote of 16 to 4, and the assembly April 26 by a vote of 59 
to 29. It was signed June 2 by Governor Francis E. Mc 
Govern, on the ground that it was the sort of problem 
which should be solved by the common sense of all the 
voters. 22 

Many women who continued active in suffrage work 
until success crowned the cause first enlisted in the move- 
ment in the campaign of 1912. On account of diverse 
opinions as to the manner in which the campaign should 
be conducted, a new state organization, the Political 
Equality League, came into existence with Miss Ada L. 
James as president and Crystal Eastman Benedict of 
New York as campaign manager. Miss Wagner, who had 
first appeared as a lobbyist at the legislature, was instru- 
mental in organizing the Political Equality League but 
did not long remain with it. Later she organized the Amer- 
ican Suffragettes, a short-lived society limited to Mil- 
waukee members. 

" The referendum measure was not, as generally assumed, an amendment to the 
cc nstitution, but a statutory law extending suffrage as provided for by Article III, Section 
4 of the state constitution. 

How Wisconsin Women Won the Ballot 21 

The Wisconsin Woman's Suffrage Association and the 
Pohtical EquaHty League, working separately, waged the 
campaign for woman suffrage in 1911-12. The older or- 
ganization already had affiliated societies in many parts of 
the state. The Political Equality League made active 
effort to organize branches in every county ; it also organized 
a Political Equality League among colored people, and 
a Men's Political Equality League 

That campaign was as lively as we — some trained, 
some untrained, in suffrage campaigns — could make it. 
In general we followed the suffrage styles of other states 
and imitated the stunts of those who had passed that way 
before. Suffrage speeches were scattered over this long- 
suffering commonwealth as a brisk wind scatters dry 
leaves in autumn. Mass meetings were held at points 
of vantage. Suffrage automobiles toured many counties, 
and the native Badger experienced the destructive shock 
of seeing a woman stand up in an automobile on a street 
corner and plead for political freedom. The great air pilot, 
Lincoln Beachey, scattered suffrage flyers from the airship 
which he took up into the clouds at the State Fair in 1912. 
A "Votes for Women" tour up the Wolf River was also 
a feature of the campaign. The little launch Mary 1% 
carrying its burden of suffrage speakers and literature, 
made a trip of fifty miles up the picturesque Wolf, stop- 
ping at every available landing for such suffrage propaganda 
as seemed most fitting to the situation. 

Both the Wisconsin Woman's Suffrage Association 
and the Political Equality League had oflice headquarters 
in Milwaukee. My own first active suffrage work was that 
of press correspondent in that campaign. Every week 
I sent out a suffrage letter to all the newspapers in the 
state, six hundred or more in number. I am still thrilled 
by the postage bills we had to pay every montli. 

Theodora W, Youmans 


Woman's Sui^age Would Double 
the Irresponsible Vote 

It is a MENACE to the Home, Men's 
En^iloyment and to All Business 


Official Referendum Ballot 

If you detire to vote for any queatioa make a crow CX) or otKef 
Rwrk in the »qu«re after the word "ye«, undetrneath wch queadoit-: 
if you desire to Vote agaiiut any question, make a cr*M or other 
mark in, the square after the word "no" underneath auch quection. 

Shall Chapter 227 of the law. of 1911 entided "an act extending 
the right of suffrage to wqmpn' be adopted) 

The above is an exact' reproduction 
of the separate ballot printed on 
pink paper which will be handed to 
you in your voting place on Novem- 
ber 5. Be sure and pmt your cross 
(X) in the square aifler the word 
"no" as shown here, eind — be sure 
and vote •this pink ballot. 

Iwu«>i wwl QrcuUted W 



How W isconsin Women Won the Ballot 


There is no adequate existing record of that campaign 
or even of its financial expenditures. The PoHtical Equal- 
ity League raised and expended $10,000, the amount 
permitted by the corrupt practices act. What sums were 
expended by other organizations I do not know. The 
National American Woman's Suffrage Association gave 
great assistance by paying the salary of a speaker and 
organizer, who did splendid service for many months. 
A mass meeting held in New York, arranged by Dr. Shaw 
and Crystal Eastman Benedict for the benefit of the 
Wisconsin campaign, netted $2,700. 

Our belief concerning the determined hostility of the 
liquor interests was confirmed during the campaign of 
1912 by the attitude of the magazine issued by the State 
Retail Liquor Dealers' Protective Association and ap- 
propriately called Progress, For weeks preceding the 
election the magazine was filled with argument and 
innuendo and abuse in prose and verse and picture, all 
designed to impress the reader with the absurdity and 
the danger of giving the vote to women. 

An unprecedentedly large vote was cast at the woman 
suffrage referendum at the election November 4, due 
partly, we flattered ourselves, to our efforts, and partly, 
we knew and did not flatter ourselves, to the efforts of 
our adversaries. The official count showed this result: 
For— 135,736 ; against— 227,054. Three constitutional 
amendments voted on at the same time received only 
slightly more than a fifth of the vote cast on the suffrage 
referendum. Of the seventy-one counties in the state 
fourteen carried for suftrage, Douglas County making 
the prize record with a plurality of 1 ,000. Milwaukee Coun- 
ty, including Milwaukee city, gave 20,445 votes for nnd 
40,029 against. 

We rested a bit after that campaign. We needed it. 
But the rest was short. In January, 1913 a joint convention 


Theodora W, Youmans 

of tlie two suffrage organizations was called. Their 
hostility had been more than half friendly; they easily 
forgot their differences and buried the hatchet; and they 
united as one body under the old historic name, Wisconsin 
Woman's Suffrage Association. Mrs. Brown and Miss 
James both retired and a new president, vastly surprised 
to find herself in that position, was chosen. 

From that day to this, suffrage history in Wisconsin 
is very modern and many of us can say with the old chron- 
icler, *'A11 of this I saw, part of it I was." In looking back 
over the last seven years of the struggle there are some 
high lights; but mainly it is a sober record of doing the day's 
work as well as one could, educating and organizing, 
raising money and expending it, writing and exhorting, 
and never for one moment failing in faith as to the justice 
of our cause or its final outcome. 

The first year of my presidency we had no office and I 
took care of an extensive correspondence with my own pen. 
The next year an oflfice was opened in Madison with an 
executive secretary in charge. Later the ofl[ice was removed 
to Waukesha and in October, 1916, to Milwaukee, where 
in partnership with the Milwaukee County Suffrage 
Association, headquarters were continued until the dis- 
solution of the organization. 

We held a suffrage school in Madison in 1914, the faculty 
including the chief justice of the supreme court of Wisconsin, 
members of the faculty of the University of Wisconsin, 
and many other well-known men and women. We went 
into the publishing business occasionally, although the 
great bulk of the enormous amount of literature dis- 
tributed we purchased from the National American Woman 
Suffrage Association. Our own publications included 
Wisconsin Legislators and the Home, Social Forces, Wisconsin 
Legislation — Topics for Discussion, and various timely 
leaflets. For many years one of our devoted members, 

How Wisconsin Women Won the Ballot 


Mrs. Hannah Patchin, donated the money for prizes 
for an essay contest on woman suffrage among school chil- 
dren, thus promoting interest and knowledge of this move- 
ment among citizens of the future. 

We sent an imposing contingent to the suffrage parade 
in Chicago in June, 1916, when the suffrage hosts marching 
down Michigan Avenue in a downpour of rain and gale 
of wind testified to their heartfelt desire for the ballot, 
in presence of the delegates to the national Republican 
convention there looking on — at least we ardently desired 
them to be looking on. Outside of Illinois, Wisconsin had 
the largest delegation, each member wearing a yellow 
Wisconsin tunic and the contingent being escorted by a 
G. A. R. drujn corps. 

An important feature of our work each autumn was at 
state and county fairs, where from a booth or tent emanated 
suffrage speeches, literature, and friendly argument with 
the hundreds who drifted in and out. Regular press service 
was continued, the writer serving as press chairman and 
sending out at regular intervals a letter to all those news- 
papers in the state, about one hundred in number, who were 
sufficiently hospitable to our cause to warrant the ex- 
penditure for paper and stamps. Special suffrage editions 
of daily or weekly newspapers were occasionally issued, 
edited usually by members of our organization. The 
Richland Democrat, the Watertown Daily Times, the 
Milwaukee Leader, and the Madison Wiscotisin State 
Journal were among newspapers which paid us this pleasant 

Mrs. B. C. Gudden, who has now passed from among 
us, assisted in the press work by sending suffrage letters 
to the German newspapers, and such was her ability and 
standing that she was able to secure their regular publi- 
cation. Suffrage propaganda also appeared in at least one 
Polish paper. Our final victory was largely due, as most 

Theodora W, Youmans 

reforms are due, to the help of the newspapers. Espe- 
cially to promote congressional work in this state, Mrs. Carrie 
Chapman Catt came here in 1916 and was the chief speaker 
in a state-wide congressional conference held in Milwaukee. 
Wisconsin suffragists were proud that Mrs. Catt was 
born in Ripon, Wisconsin, although she removed with 
her family to Iowa when a young child. 

Each session of Congress and of the state legislature, 
as it came on, was the object of our special solicitude. 
For a long time the Wisconsin delegation in Congress 
was not noticeable for suffrage enthusiasm. However, 
when the vote was taken in the House of Representatives 
in 1915, Wisconsin gave two votes in favor and nine votes 
against the federal amendment. By January, 1918 our 
delegation had taken an advanced stand and we had the 
remarkably favorable vote of eight for to two against 
the amendment, one place being vacant. That same vote 
was recorded at the final suffrage roll call in the House 
in May, 1919. In the long struggle in the United States 
Senate both of the Wisconsin senators stood steadily in 
favor of the amendment, as both had for years been friendly 
to our cause. 

Each state legislature was given one chance and often 
several chances to record its opinion of the enfranchisement 
of women. The legislature of 1913 passed a referendum 
measure, which was vetoed by Governor McGovern on 
the ground that the electors should not be asked to pass 
upon the question again so soon after having decided 
against it. 

The legislatures of 1915 and 1917 almost passed woman 
suffrage measures — almost but not quite. But the tide 
was turning. Political parties whose favor we had been 
fervently courting for years were becoming less embarrassed 
by our attentions. Minor parties had long been for us. 
The Prohibition Party, organized about 1880, seems 

How Wisconsin Women Won the Ballot 


to have favored equal rights for women from the beginning. 
The SociaHst Party has stood for equal rights for women; 
and the Progressive Party during its brief existence 
took the same position. 

The majority parties were bashful but not wholly 
unapproachable. In 1916 both the Republican and the 
Democratic parties endorsed the principles of woman 
suflPrage but neither was quite ready to stand for the one 
thing necessary to bring suffrage to the women of the 
country, the federal amendment. The two major parties 
in Wisconsin that year followed the lead of the national 
parties, but two years later both had reached the stage of 
positive conviction. **There comes a time," said Mrs. 
Mc Clung, the brilliant Canadian woman who spoke at one 
of our conventions, "there comes a time when the political 
parties, however shy they have been toward woman suf- 
frage, say, "Take it from us, ladies." That time had come in 
Wisconsin when the platform conventions were held in 
September, 1918. All parties adopted suffrage planks. All 
eaders were anxious for us to know they were for us or at 
least were not against us. The woman suffrage session of 
the Wisconsin legislature naturally followed. The legis- 
lature was so keen about suffrage that it got ahead of our 
legislative committee and passed a resolution favoring 
the federal amendment and urging prompt action by the 
United States Senate before our committee got settled to 
its task. 

Followed at intervals four more suffrage measures: 
giving women presidential suffrage; providing for a refer- 
endum; ratifying the federal amendment; repealing the 
referendum. The referendum was not desired by suffragists 
but went through on the prevailing enthusiasm of the legis- 
lature. When the federal amendment was ratified nnd 
the legislature realized that under the provisions of the ref- 
erendum Wisconsin women might vote in November. 


Theodora W, Youmans 

10*20 on the question of their own enfranchisement, the 
referendum measure was repealed, a wholly friendly and 
considerate act. Each of the suffrage measures was favored 
by a large majority in both senate and assembly. The 
conversion of the political leaders of the state, as rep- 
resented in the legislature as well as in Congress, was 
apparently complete. Legislation in this state had done 
all it could for the national enfranchisement of women. 

The Wisconsin legislature passed the resolution of 
ratification about eleven o'clock on the morning of June 
10, 1919. Senator David G. James, special messenger to 
carry the ratification document to Washington, reported 
at the proper bureau in the office of the Secretary of State 
early on the morning of June 13, and secured from the chief 
of the bureau a definite declaration that the Wisconsin 
resolution was the first to be filed in that office. 


June 13, 1919 

By direction of the Acting Secretary of State I hereby acknowledge 
the receipt of the Joint Resolution of the Legislature of the State of 
Wisconsin, ratifying the proposed amendment to the Constitution of 
the United States extending the right of suffrage to women, which 
was delivered by special messenger, D. G. James, on June 13, 1919, 
and is the first ratification of the amendment which has been received, 


Chief of Bureau 

However, the Wisconsin claim to first place in rati- 
fication of the suffrage amendment is challenged by Illinois, 
whose legislature had passed a ratification resolution 
at ten o'clock on that fateful morning of June 10. It later 
transpired that there was an error in the text of the resolu- 
tion passed by the Illinois legislature which necessitated its 
being passed over again a fortnight later. Illinois claims 
she is entitled to first place because the error was not 
her own. She makes no claim to having filed first at Wash- 

How Wisconsin Women Won the Ballot 29 

Whether the actual passage of the amendment, or 
the fiUng of that document at Washington, should establish 
precedence, whether the error should or should not count 
against Illinois — these are considerations which bid fair to 
make the question, **Is Wisconsin or Illinois entitled to 
first place in ratifying the suffrage amendment?" one of 
the great unsettled questions of the day. But there is no 
question that Wisconsin, either alone or with one com- 
panion, held the proud position of leader in that final 
great roll call of democracy. 

The World War undoubtedly hastened the enfranchise- 
ment of the women of this country. Political parties 
indicated the splendid war work of women as reason for 
favoring political equality. Woman suffragists, being suf- 
fragists because of their interest in citizenship and good 
government, realized to the full the great issues at stake 
and supported the government with all their powers. 
The National American Woman Suffrage Association 
was the first national association to tender its services 
to the government when war became imminent, and almost 
immediately after Congress had declared the existence 
of a state of war the Executive Board of the Wisconsin 
Woman's Suffrage Association took action favoring vig- 
orous effort in several specified lines of war activity and 
proffering its allegiance and its services to the state — 
the first Wisconsin organization to take such action. An 
appreciative reply to this message was received from 
Governor Emanuel L. Philipp. 

The Wisconsin Woman's Suffrage Association and .^)me 
of the county associations appointed committees on reg- 
istration, food, Americanization, child welfare. jNIany mem- 
bers became state and local leaders in the councils of defense, 
Red Cross, Fatherless Children of France, food conserva- 
tion. Liberty Bond drives, and all sorts of war and relief 
organizations. Their interest in citizenship impelled them 


Theodora W, Youmans 

to give a friendly hand to alien women when the law made it 
necessary for these to register, and to promote American- 
ization wherever possible. Notably fine pioneer work 
in teaching American ideals to the foreign born was done 
by our members. The Wisconsin Woman's Suffrage 
Association raised $1,453.85 for the Women's Oversea 
Hospital, U. S. A., the especial relief unit of the National 
American Woman Suffrage Association. 

Wisconsin had an antisuffrage organization which 
regularly sent speakers to take part in the legislative 
hearings on suffrage bills. However, the most pretentious 
arguments against suffrage at these hearings were for 
several years made by a representative of the German- 
American Alliance. Only these two organizations openly 
opposed our cause. Other opponents worked in secret. 

A Wisconsin branch of the National Woman Suffrage 
Party came into existence two or three years before the 
final victory. 

The success of a movement like ours depends first upon 
education, and second upon legislation effected by this 
educated public opinion. Our work was done through 
standing committees, Congressional, Legislative, Finance, 
Educational, Literature, Press, Organization, and Head- 

Not the least important was the committee on finance, 
whose business it was to raise the money necessary for 
our work. I have always been proud that during my 
administration — I have no knowledge of earlier treasuries — 
our modest budget was always adequate and our bills were 
promptly paid. We even secured legal advice, when we 
needed it, without fee. Because we were sure we were 
working for a righteous cause we believed other people 
should be willing to help along, and so they generally 
proved to be. Our outlay was small according to the stand- 
ards of present-day propaganda. Our greatest expend- 

How Wisconsin Women Won the Ballot 


iture for any one year after 1912, including the annual 
contribution of $1,000 to the National American Woman 
Suffrage Association, was about six thousand dollars. 
Usually we had a budget of four or five thousand. The 
money was raised by voluntary subscription,, each local 
organization being asked to contribute a stated sum based 
on its size and resources. These local organizations also 
had small treasuries of their own. Money was usually 
contributed in small sums, our Dollar Campaigns being 
especially featured. Occasional large gifts inspired general 
rejoicing. 2^ 

In looking backward we are filled with gratitude and 
happiness at what we have accomplished. We do not min- 
imize the importance of what has been done. The en- 
franchisement of women, in face of the prejudice against 
it, prejudice woven into the very web of human nature, 
is a marvelous achievement. The careless world will 
probably continue to think that woman suffrage just 
happened, that it was "in the air"; but we know that the 
changes in the opinions of society which made it possible 
are the result of ceaseless, unremitting toil. Stones wear 
away with constant dropping. So do prejudices, which 
are much tougher. The political equality of women came 
because a little group of women had profound conviction 
that the enfranchisement of women was so fundamental- 
ly right and so absolutely necessary that it must be brouglit 
about. Many women and many men helped in the long 
woman suffrage struggle. But it was the burning flame 
in the souls of a few women which lighted and led the way. 

Wisconsin has done its part. We say it with great 
pride and fervent thanksgiving. How many times have I 
heard the pessimistic prophecy: "Wisconsin will be the 
last to enfranchise its women.'' Local conditions seemed 

^'One Wisconsin woman, whose name lam not pcrmilted lo give, confrihtito*! .nosl 
generously to our cause. 


Theodora W, Youmans 

to ]irovide foundation for that belief, but we workers in 
these later years knew that it was not well founded. Wis- 
consin took the lead in the ratification of the federal 
amendment because of the good fortune of her legislature 
being in session at the right time and the activities of our 
legislative committee. But the convictions of the legis- 
lature, chosen representatives of the people of Wisconsin, 
were right on this great question. The spontaneous enthu- 
siastic support of suffrage measures by the legislature of 1919 
records the real triumph of woman suffrage in Wisconsin. 

For information used in this article I am indebted to the Reverend Olympia Brown, 
Ada L. James, Louise P. Kellogg, and many others. 

William W. Bartlett 

If the question were asked as to who was the most 
noteworthy person in the early history of the Chippewa 
Valley, the answer would probably be Jean Brunet. Yet 
his story has largely escaped permanent record, and 
nothing approaching a biography of him has ever be^n 
printed. In the publications of the State Historical Soci- 
ety ten scattering references to Brunet may be found; 
here and there in other local historical works may be found 
brief mention of him, but taken altogether they afford 
nothing like a complete story of his life. To reconstruct 
this story, in so far as it can now be done, is the purpose of 
the present article. Fortunately for this purpose it is still 
possible to supplement the few sources of information in 
print with the testimony of persons still living who were in- 
timately connected with the Chippewa Valley pioneer. 

From a History of Northern Wisconsin published at 
Chicago in 1881 by A. T. Andreas may be gleaned con- 
siderable about Jean Brunet. The writer seems to have 
taken considerable pains in collecting his information, 
and Brunet had been dead but a few years when tliis account 
was written. It states^ that Brunet was born in France 
and came out to St. Louis in 1818, where he entered the 
employ of the Chouteaus. By them he was sent in 18*20 to 
Prairie du Chien, then the most important point in the 
upper Mississippi Valley. 

At Prairie du Chien Brunet engaged in various ac- 
tivities and evidently became a man of considerable prom- 
inence. The account already noted states tliat lie married 
the sister of Joseph Rolette, who was long the most prom- 
inent citizen of the place. Rolette had come out to Prairie 

1 Pages 192-94. 


William W, Bartlett 

du Chien inlSOG, and he died there in 1842. He developed 
large business interests, and was a man of progressive 
ideas. Brunet's employment with the Chouteaus must 
have been soon terminated, for McCabe's Gazeteer of 
Wisconsin represents him as keeping a tavern (the second 
one kept at Prairie du Chien) in 1821.2 T^ig tavern was 
continued quite a number of years, being mentioned by 
Judge Lockwood in his recollections of the Winnebago 
War of 1827. "I went to my house and found it vacant," 
he says, **and went to the old village where I found my 
family and most of the inhabitants of the Prairie assembled 
at the house of Jean Brunet, who kept a tavern. Mr. 
Brunet had a quantity of square timber about him, and 
the people proposed building breastworks with it."^ 

Tavern-keeping could not have been a business of much 
magnitude in Prairie du Chien a century ago, and along 
with it Brunet carried on other enterprises. In 1822, 
according to Edward Beouchard,^ Brunet and one Disbrow 
had a keel-boat on the river, which Beouchard was em- 
ployed in running for them. Colonel Richard M. Johnson 
of Kentucky, who later became vice president of the United 
States, came out to the lead mines and stopped for a time at 
Prairie du Chien — whether at Brunet's inn is not a matter 
of record. A Fox Indian came to Prairie du Chien offering 
to sell his ''diggings" on Fever River. Johnson became 
interested in the matter and hired the keel-boat of Brunet 
and Disbrow to convey himself and goods to Fever River. 
The boat was placed in Beouchard 's charge, with orders 
that in case Johnson should buy the diggings of the Indian 
and desire help in the erection of cabins Beouchard was to 

^ This gazeteer was never published, but a portion of the data gathered for it was 
printed in installments in the Lancaster Wisconsin Herald. The statement noted is 
included in McCabe's statistics of Prairie du Chien, printed in the Herald, August 23, 

^ Wis. Hist. Colls., II, 161. 
' Ibid., VII, 290. 

From a crayon portrait owned by Ben Gauthier 

Jean Brunei, Chippewa Valley Pioneer 35 

remain and assist him. Johnson bought the property and 
not long after went back to Kentucky. Beouchard helped 
erect several cabins for him and sending back the boat and 
hands to Prairie du Chien remained, with Brunet's consent, 
at Johnson's diggings all winter. 5 2 J ^ 

In 1824 occurred a tragedy on the upper Mississippi in 
which Brunet was indirectly involved ; the story of it which 
has been preserved sheds considerable light upon his 
business activities at this period. John Findley was a 
young man who came to Prairie du Chien in the early 
years of the American reoccupation following the War of 
1812. Findley clerked for a time in the suttling estab- 
lishment of Governor Alexander McNair of Missouri; 
while thus employed he fell in love with a half-sister of 
Mrs. Rolette and married her. His employer, learning of 
this, concluded that the clerk was not attending to his 
business with sufficient singleness of devotion and dis- 
charged him.^ Findley now engaged in the Indian trade 
on his own account, but failing to make a success of it, some 
time before 1824 entered the employ of Brunet. In the 
summer of 1824 Brunet sent him, accompanied by three 
Canadian boatmen, on a business mission to Fort Snelling. 
At Lake Pepin the traders fell in with a war party of 
Chippewa from Lake Superior who were out in search of 
Sioux scalps.^ The warriors had nothing against the white 
men; but they had failed to procure the scalps of any of 
their hereditary enemies, and swayed by savage impul- 
siveness, they fell upon the whites and speedily mas- 
sacred them. The remains of the murdered men were 
soon discovered, and detachments of soldiers were sent 
to the spot from both Fort Snelling and Fort Crawford. 
In all, some two hundred men, soldiers and vohmtoers, 
journeyed to Lake Pepin to avenge the murders. **]Mons 

5 im., II, 127. 

^ For this affair, see Warren's "History of the Ojibway Nation,*' in Miixncsofn His- 
torical Collections, V, 389-92. 


William W, Bartlett 

Jean' Brunei was along," records Warren, ''and had been 
most active in raising this force." Evidently he was a 
man of enterprise and of influence among his fellows. This 
impression in confirmed by other references to him in 
Judge Lockwood's recollections, from which we have 
already quoted. Thus at the time of the Winnebago 
trouble in 1827, when the residents of Prairie du Chien 
were organizing a military company for self -protection, 
Brunet was one of the three oflScers chosen to command 
the company^; while after the battle of the Pecatonica 
in 1832 "the prominent men of Prairie du Chien, not 
included in the army," joined in presenting a gun to 
General Dodge as a memorial of their esteem. Among 
the seven names signed to this memorial we find that of 
Jean Brunet. Five years later he was elected to the 
territorial house of representatives from Crawford County, 
serving at its second regular session of 1837-38 at Bur- 
lington, and in the special session of June, 1838 at the same 
place, although it does not positively appear that he was 
in attendance at this latter session. 

We are now on the eve of Brunei's removal from 
Prairie du Chien to the Chippewa Valley, where the re- 
mainder of his life was to be spent. In July, 1837 an im- 
portant treaty was negotiated by Governor Dodge with 
the Chippewa tribe at Fort Snelling, by the terms of which 
a vast tract of Chippewa territory was ceded to the United 
States. In Wisconsin it included the greater portion 
of the northern and western parts of the state, covering 
the famous pineries whose cutting constituted the state's 
most notable industry for two generations following the 
treaty. For this vast extent of land, with its untold wealth 
in timber, the Indians were to receive the paltry sum of 
$810,000 in goods and money, distributed over twenty 
annual payments. 

^ Wis. Hist. Cells., 11, 164. 

Jean Brunei, Chippewa Valley Pioneer 37 

Foremost to exploit the forest wealth thus thrown 
open to citizens of the United States was a group of Wis- 
consin men which included Hercules L. Dousman of 
Prairie du Chien; Lyman Warren, the La Pointe trader; 
William A. Aitkin, also a trader among the Chippewa; 
and General H. H. Sibley. ^ They placed Jean Brunet in 
charge of the enterprise, and an expedition was fitted out 
at Prairie du Chien to build a sawmill at the falls of the 
Chippewa. Brunet engaged boatmen, axmen, loggers, 
and mechanics chiefly from the French-Canadian pop- 
ulation at the Prairie. The venture, however, did not prove 
a success under Brunet's leadership; the difliculties en- 
countered proved more tedious than had been antici- 
pated, and greater than the resources of the little party 
could surmount. The pioneers under Brunet's lead had 
pointed the way for the development of an industry which 
later assumed vast proportions in the Chippewa Valley; 
but the work of developing it shortly passed into other 

But the lure of the Chippewa proved too strong for 
Brunet to overcome. His movements during the next 
year or two are uncertain, although there is reason to 
think he continued to make his headquarters at the Falls. 
At any rate he is reported here in June, 1843, when Alfred 
Brunson's party came to the Falls enroute overland from 
Prairie du Chien to La Pointe.^ Brunson was opening an 
overland trail from the lead mines to the copper country 
which, in the flush of its first great boom, was then attract- 
ing great attention on the part of Wisconsin's lead miners. A 
ferry would be needed to convey travelers across the river 
at Chippewa Falls, and already, according to Brunson, "Mr. 
Brunet" had a flatboat nearly completeii for this purpose. 

^ History of Northern Wisconsin, lf)3. 

8 Letter of Brunson from Chippewa Falls, printed in Lancaster Wisconsin UcroUi, 
July 22, 1843. 


William W, Bartlett 

Somewhat later than this, probably, the precise date 
being unknown, Brunet built a cabin on the west bank of the 
Chippewa about twenty-five miles above the Falls, and 
at the foot of a smaller fall in the river which shortly took 
his name. Here he resided the remainder of his life. 
For some years he carried on a fur trade and barter with 
the Indians. As the lumbering operations increased and 
the fur trade grew, less he built a more commodious dwelling 
and kept a stopping place for the accommodation of the 
loggers, rivermen, and others passing to and from the 
lumbering regions farther up the Chippewa and its trib- 
utaries. Of all the stopping places on the Chippewa 
River that of Jean Brunet was best and most favorably 

One of the men who came with Brunet's original 
party to the Chippewa in 1838 was Francis Gauthier. He 
remained in Brunet's employ; and when the latter built 
his cabin at what came to be known as Brunet Falls (now 
Cornell), Gauthier removed thither with him. He re- 
ceived no regular wages, but was treated by Brunet 
as his son. As the years passed he married and brought 
up his family in the Brunet home; after Brunet's death 
the courts awarded to Gauthier what property he had left. 
Gauthier is recalled by persons still living as an interesting 
man and one who was highly esteemed. He was much 
more of a woodsman and explorer than was Brunet, and 
he made many long canoe trips upon the upper Chippewa 
and its tributaries. 

A daughter of Francis Gauthier, Mrs. Gustave Robert 
of Holcombe, has spent her entire life within five or six miles 
of her birthplace in the old Brunet cabin. Like many 
another pioneer, she had in her youth no educational 
advantages, but she speaks French, English, and Chippewa 
fluently, and is generally well-informed upon the events 
of the day, while her mind is a storehouse of information 

Jean Brunei, Chippewa Valley Pioneer 39 

concerning pioneer days on the Chippewa. From her 
the information which follows has been gained: 

My father, Francis Gauthier, was of French-Canadian descent. 
I do not know the date of his birth, and am not certain whether he was 
born in Canada or not. If he was he must have left there at an early 
age, as he was only a young boy when he began work for Jean Brunet 
at Prairie du Chien. Mr. Brunet took a great Kking to my father, 
and he was one of the party that came up with Mr. Brunet to build 
the first mill at Chippewa Falls, later going with him to what is now 
Brunet Falls, or Cornell. About the year 1846 Father married my 
mother, whose maiden name was Sophie Jandron. She was from the 
Odanah reservation and was of mixed French and Chippewa descent. 
Six children were born to them in the Brunet home, five of whom are 
still living. 

I do not know when Mr. Brunet was born, but as far back as 
I can remember he seemed to be an old man. He was a fine looking 
man, always clean-shaven and very neat in his personal appearance. 
Whenever he made a trip to Chippewa Falls he always wore his fine 
broadcloth Prince Albert coat, with white shirt and cravat. In his 
later years he was much reduced in circumstances, and his clothes 
at times were really shabby, but even then he would not wear clothing 
that was patched. I think Mr. Brunet was from the upper class in 
France. He kept his accounts and gave general oversight to his affairs, 
but never did any manual labor himself. He was always kind and polite. 
The loggers and rivermen who stopped with him received the usual 
accommodations of other such stopping places, but when business or 
professional men came along they were treated by him as guests. 
He always sat at the head of the table. These men would be seated 
near him and Mr. Brunet would serve. Mr. Brunet was deeply 
religious , a devout Catholic, and very faithful in all the observances 
of the Church. He never sat down to the table without saying grace. 
In those early days his home was the gathering place of those of 
the Catholic faith from the surrounding vicinity for religious instruc- 
tion when occasional traveling priests visited the valley.'" Mr. l^rnnot 
did not bring his wife up from Prairie du Chien until after he had 

1° Brunet was the first president of the St. John the Baptist Society in thr ( hippcwa 
Valley. In 1911 the Chippewa Lumber and Boom Company was closing up its hnnl>rring 
operations at the Falls. At the annual meeting of the company, held January .'i of that 
year, funds were voted for the erection of a suitable monument to the memory of Brunet in 
the cemetery at Chippewa Falls. This action was taken in recognition of Brunet 's activi- 
ties in connection with the first sawmill at Chippewa Falls. The officers of the St. John 
the Baptist Society were notified of the action taken by the com]iauy. and in Jimo the 
monument was erected under the ausj)ices of that society. The inscription, which is in 
French, may be translated as follows: "To the Pious Memory of the Valiant Bioncor, 
Jean Brunet, First President of the St. John the nn])tist Society of Chii>pc\va Falls. Wis 
Born 1791 in Gascogne, France. Died the iOth of August. IH77. Best in IVarr. Builder 
of the first Chippewa Falls Sawmill in IHHO." 


William W. Bartlett 

spent some years in the Chippewa Valley, but he used to visit her 
several times a year. I remember her very well. Like Mr. Brunet 
she was very devout, and spent much of her time in her room engaged 
in religious devotions. She looked older than Mr. Brunet, and always 
wore a close-fitting cap or bonnet. She died shortly after the Civil 
War. One of my most cherished keepsakes is a French Catholic prayer 
book which she gave me on my second birthday. On the flyleaf she 
wrote this inscription: "Donne le 20 davril par Madamme Brunet a 
Josephine Gauthier, age de 2 ans. Riviere des Sauteurs." 

Mr. Brunet was a true friend to the Indians, and they always 
stopped with him when going up or down the river. He never made 
any charge to them for meals, but they often brought him venison in 
return. There was always a great gathering of them at his home on 
New Year's Day, and soon after daylight they would announce their ar- 
rival by firing off guns. They would quickly put up their tepees and 
build their campfires, tom toms would be heard, and the vicinity of the 
Brunet home would assume the appearance of an Indian village. 
The Indians often camped near the house. I remember once an Indian 
child was very sick and my mother went over to see it, taking me along. 
The medicine man was there performing his ceremonies. He put some- 
thing that looked like dried bones in his mouth, chewed them up, 
and spit them into a basin of water on the ground. After examining the 
water he said the child would die at sunrise the next morning. It was 
the Indian custom to announce a death among them by firing off guns. 
Next morning, just as the sun rose we heard the guns, and knew that 
the child was dead. 

For many years after he came on the Chippewa Mr. Brunet lived 
in a one-room log cabin, with curtains around the beds. When I was 
about twelve years old he built a long log house facing the river. The 
house was torn down many years ago, but the foundation can still be 
seen. The kitchen was on the south, or down-river end, with bedrooms 
opening off of it for my father and mother and their children. The next 
room was a large dining room, which was deeper than the other rooms 
and had cupboards clear across the back end. Beyond this was Mr. 
Brunet's room, while the men's room was at the north, or upper, end 
of the house. A stair led up to the loft which ran the full length of the 
house and served as sleeping quarters for the men. In going to the dining 
room they did not pass through Mr. Brunet's room, but had to go 

My father looked after the outside work around the Brunet place, 
while niy mother, who was a good cook and housekeeper, with the help 
of us girls, took care of the housework. Mrs. Brunet never did any 
housework, although she did a good deal of patchwork for quilts. 
At times, when large crews of woodmen and log drivers were going 
and coming, we had our hands full. At other times housework lagged, 
and we would make buckskin mittens and gloves, and plain and beaded 

Raspberries, blackberries, and cranberries were plentiful. Blue- 
berries did not grow near, but the Indians used to bring them to us. 

Jean Brunei, Chippewa Valley Pioneer 41 

Wild plums grew in abundance. We did not know anything about 
the canning of fruit, but we used to dry berries and corn. For meat 
we had salt pork, smoked hams, and a plentiful supply of smoked 
venison. Fish could be had in any quantity, and partridges and other 
small game. Mr. Brunet raised a good supply of potatoes and other 
garden vegetables. Our table fare was hearty but simple. In the pastry 
line about the only articles we had were doughnuts and pies made of 
dried apples, dried berries, or cranberries. 

We had our simple games and plays. The older folks played cards 
a good deal, and sometimes there would be a dance. Although I never 
used a gun, we used to fish, and all of us were at home on the water. I 
could pole or paddle a birch bark canoe, either standing or sitting, and there 
was never any lack of canoes. The Indians would start from the head- 
waters of the Chippewa with their canoes in the fall, hunting and 
trapping on their way down. By the time they were ready to return, 
the river would be frozen over and they would leave their canoes at 
the Brunet place, making new ones for the next trip. The whole country 
around was almost an unbroken pine forest and one could walk for 
hours without seeing the sun. But we girls were never afraid to be 
out alone in the woods or on the river, and were never molested either 
by Indians or by white men. 

Jean Brunet was fond of reading but he did not take any interest 
in hunting, fishing, or other out-of-door sports. Like nearly everyone 
in those early days he drank intoxicating liquor, but unlike most 
tavern-keepers he did not keep it on sale and seldom had it on the 
place. He kept a small stock of the staple supplies needed in lumber 
camps and by the Indians and the few white residents of the vicinity. 
He cut a great deal of wild hay on the marshes, which he sold to the 
loggers; and he raised and sold a good many oxen. 

Mr. Brunet selected a fine location for his home. His cabin was 
built on the west bank of the Chippewa, perhaps eighty rods below 
the present Brunet Falls dam. The site was level and high enough to 
be always dry. Below the falls and in front of the cabin was a bay, 
formed by a bend in the river, with very little current. In the side of 
the bank between the cabin and the river was a fine spring which 
supplied the house with water. 

There were no roads in this section in the early days. In winter 
supplies were hauled up the river on the ice, while in summer and fall 
all travel was by boat. Two kinds of boats were in use for trans- 
porting supplies. The earliest ones were dugouts made from a single 
large pine log. In later years these largely gave place to bateaux, 
which were large boats with both ends pointed. INIr. Brunet derived 
a considerable income from portaging these boats and their contents 
around the falls. The bay below the falls afforded a good landing 
place. From this point a road had been graded along the side of the 
bank to a suitable point in the river above the falls. Mr. Brunet had 
a four-wheeled wagon, the heavy wheels of which wore made of 
sections sawed from a large pine log. He had a regular charge for the 
boats, but the charge for carrying the goods was made by the luindnHl 


William W, Bartlett 

wci«j:lit. I well remember the old cart with the wooden wheels; at a later 
time it was replaced by one having iron wheels. 

Mr. Brunet would have been well-to-do in his old age if he had not 
lost so much money in bad accounts. As it was, he had nothing at the 
time of his death except the place, the value of which at the time 
was only a few hundred dollars. I have in my possession an old ledger 
in which Mr. Brunet kept his accounts from the year 1862 until his 
death. Many of the accounts were never settled, and some of the 
amounts due were quite large. Mr. Brunet died in August, 1877, and 
was buried in the Catholic cemetery at Chippewa Falls. My father, 
Francis Gauthier, died in January, 1880. My mother died in 1909. 



The late General James Grant Wilson of New York 
City, who for a generation prior to his death in 1913 was 
one of the leading figures of the nation's foremost literary 
center, was in the habit of relating that in the old Chicago 
Magazine he established the first literary periodical in 
the Northwest. The career of the Chicago Magazine 
began in March, 1857 and terminated with the fifth issue 
in August of the same year. Unknown to General Wilson, 
however, and apparently to bibliographers in general, 
full fifteen years before the Chicago Magazine ran its 
brief course the budding village of Southport (now known 
as Kenosha), Wisconsin, had witnessed the launching of 
a similar venture. We cannot, indeed, positively affirm 
that The Garland of the West, and Wisconsin Monthly 
Magazine was Wisconsin's first exponent of general liter- 
ature, but it seems a reasonably safe assumption that our 
title is in harmony with the facts. 

The most remarkable thing about the Garland of the West 
is the fact that it should have come into existence at all. 
Wisconsin Territory had been established only six years 
before, with a population east of the Mississippi of less 
than twelve thousand. Wisconsin Territory was devel- 
oping rapidly during these years; yet in 1840 its total 
population was less than that of Madison at the present 
time. Nor was the social condition and economic status 
of the thirty thousand inhabitants of Badgerdom sucli as 
to lend assurance to other than a very optimistic pnhlislicr 
that his literary enterprise would find the means of sii])]Mirt 
essential to render it enduring. Commenting on the largo 

desire to record my indohlcdncss to Professor W. B. rairns and Mrs Franklin 
Meyers for assistance rendered me in the prei)aralion of this article. 


M, M. Quaife 

number of literary magazines started in America at a slightly 
earlier period (1815-1833) Professor Cairns writes 

**Hope must have sprung eternal in the breasts of the 
editors and publishers of these magazines, or they would 
have foreseen the failure that surely awaited them. A few 
ventures, like the North American Review, met a need, 
and finally established themselves on a firm footing. * * * 
The great majority, however, came into existence as the 
result of misguided enthusiasm, and resulted in literary 
and financial bankruptcy." 

With what hopes and expectations the Garland of the 
West was launched the prospectus issued by the publishers 
sufficiently acquaints us.^ There was no intention of com- 
peting with the '*long established and ably conducted 
magazines of the East," which the new periodical could 
not hope to rival. But while the East was abundantly 
supplied with magazines, the West was nearly destitute 
of such periodicals, and this ''vacuum" the projectors of 
the Garland had determined, notwithstanding "the infancy 
of the town" and some little "diffidence" in their own 
abilities, to fill. The magazine was to be a monthly, 
printed with good type on fair paper, its contents to be 
made up of "choice Original and Selected Tales, Poems, 
Essays, Biographical Notices of distinguished men. To- 
gether with Statistical accounts of the West, etc., etc." 
As far as possible the contents of the Garland were to be 
original, and to this end the services of several writers 
had been enlisted; the selected material would be taken 
from the best current American magazines. The editors 
were hopeful of producing such a work as would become 
"a welcome visitant at the firesides of our hardy settlers" 
and a credit to the village of its publication. 

' Urdversity of Wisconsin Bulletin, XIII, 39-40. 

^ Printed in Southport Telegraph, Feb. 15, 1842, and later issues. 

COVER DESTCN OF TJic GorUind of the West 

lleproduced from The Gnrlaiul of ill r iVrst 

Wisconsin's First Literary Magazine 


Although the prospectus appealed for support to the 
friends of literature throughout the country, it will be worth 
our while to dwell for a moment upon the local environment 
in which this remarkabh literary enterprise took root. 
Southport by the census of 1840 numbered but a trifle over 
three hundred souls; six years earlier than this it had been 
but a spot in the wilderness, its soil unvexed by the foot of 
a single white inhabitant. The village was growing rapidly, 
however, and in the two years following 1840 its popula- 
tion more than doubled. More important by far was the 
character of these pioneer settlers of Kenosha. They had 
come largely from New York and New England and were 
keenly responsive to intellectual influences. In 1839 an 
academy was established in the village; in the same year a 
newspaper edited by two remarkable men, Michael Frank 
and C. Latham Sholes, .was also started. In 1841 the village 
witnessed the establishment of a second newspaper. In 
short, there was much about infant Southport to justify 
the flattering view which the editor of the Garland enter- 
tained concerning its local constituency. The leading 
article of the first issue was devoted to an appreciation of 
Southport and its citizens. Their character, we learn, 
"for enterprise, general intelligence, and morality is known 
almost as extensively as the existence of the town itself. 
The institutions of religion and morality were commenced 
with the early settlement of the place, and have been 
fostered with assiduous attention." The educational 
interests of the town were regarded as identical with 
its prosperity, and most of its citizens possessed a taste 
for reading and science; "hence Lyceums and other kindred 
institutions are supported with interest" together witli a 
reading-room "where a leisure hour may be spent with 
pleasure and profit." 

Of the publishers of tlie Garland. Edward Young 
and Julius H. Kimball, we have been able to learn but 


M, M. Quaife 

little. Kimball was the son of George Kimball, a native of 
New Hampshire, who after varied experiences, including 
residences in places as widely separated as Montreal and 
Richmond, Virginia, came to Pike River Settlement (soon 
to be known as Southport and later still as Kenosha) in 1836. 
From that time until the present the Kimball family 
has been well known in Kenosha. At Montreal George 
Kimball had qualified for the practice of law both in the 
French and in the English courts. It is recorded that he 
was actively interested in art and literature and that he 
possessed an excellent library. Evidently these tastes were 
transmitted to the son, who helped to found and for a 
brief time conduct the new literary magazine. 

Edward Young, however, seems to have been the prin- 
cipal factor in the enterprise. His career in Kenosha was 
but brief. Both from the Garland itself and from depre- 
cating press notices of contemporary origin we discover 
that he had a penchant for versifying. Local advertise- 
ments indicate that he followed the trade of jeweler and 
watchmaker, unless, indeed, the village contained two 
residents of this name. The magazine shortly failed, 
and Young departed for another scene of activity, which 
perhaps accounts for our inability to learn more about 
his career. 

Aside from the publishers. Young and Kimball, the pro- 
spectus of the Garland announced Michael Frank, L. P. 
Harvey and N. P. Dowst as permanent contributors. Harvey 
was the youthful principal of the Southport Academy, who 
had come from Ohio the year before in search of fame and 
fortune. The former, at least, he found in ample measure, for 
twenty years later, still in early middle age, he died tragically 
as war governor of Wisconsin, having held during the 
intervening years many offices of public trust and con- 
fidence. Michael Frank was for fifty years one of the state's 

Wisconsin s First Literary Magazine 


leading citizens. Of Dowst we have learned practically 

By such men and in such a soil, therefore, was this pioneer 
Wisconsin literary enterprise planted. If one may judge 
by the fate which shortly befell it, the magazine must be 
numbered with Professor Cairns' great majority which 
*'came into existence as the result of misguided enthusi- 
asm, and resulted in literary and financial bankruptcy." 
After two issues (the first appeared in June, 1842) Kimball 
withdrew from the magazine, and Young continued it 
alone. Lack of adequate financial support must quickly 
have come into evidence, for the September and October 
issues were combined into one number of "only about the 
usual size." The Garland had been, a hostile and some- 
what flippant newspaper critic"* suggested, "somewhat 
bleached and cut short of its fair proportions by the fall 
frosts." In February, 1843 Young gave over the enter- 
prise to Charles C. and C. Latham Sholes. They issued a 
new prospectus, announcing a somewhat changed plan 
of conducting the magazine; according to the same critic 
of Young whose comment we have already noted, it would 
henceforth "contain useful reading matter instead of 
lovesick trash. "^ Of the lengthy title which the magazine 
had borne hitherto the new publishers retained but the 
concluding portion, so that it now appeared as the Wiscon- 
sin Monthly Magazine, In their hands it became a quarto 
of sixteen pages, "very neatly printed." 

We know of but three copies of the Garland of the West 
still extant, those for June, July, and August, 184'2.« Wlien 
the Sholes brothers suspended publication is not in evidence, 
although it is a perfectly safe assumption that lack of 
support afforded the reason therefor. Much of our informa- 

* Milwaukee Courier, Nov. 16, 1842. 
^ Milwaukee Courier, Feb. 15, 1843. 

« The State Historical Library has the issues for Juno and August. Mr. Nathsn Alien 
of Kenosha has copies for these months and also one for July. 


M, M, Quaife 

tion concerning the career of the magazine is due to the 
splenetic contemporary notices vented upon it by the 
editor of the Milwaukee Courier. From the first he adopted 
toward the infant magazine a tone of disdainful superiority. 
Its first issue **contains several tolerably fair love-sick 
stories, and a few pieces of passably good and a few of very 
poor poetry."^ But the hope is held out that with proper 
encouragement the publication "may grow into something 
quite interesting and respectable, and reflect credit upon 
the literature of the Territory." The second issue of the 
Garland our critic finds "if possible more trashy than its 
predecessor."^ In November "the opening piece of poetry 
by the editor is a failure," and Young is advised to "brush 
up his muse and his mechanical skill." ^ He is warned, 
too, of impending opposition, for it is rumored that one 
Obadiah Soapgrease has sent forth proposals for publish- 
ing The Yaller Flower of the West and Dogtown Record, 
Each number of this journal is to be sold "for what it is 
worth," and it is thought this plan will prove popular 
with the public in view of its experience with Young's 
magazine. Such comment by a rival editor need not 
be regarded seriously. It affords but one illustration of 
the fashion of the age, when personal journalism flourished — 
an age when famous New York City editors engaged in 
personal affrays and, in the political world, a man like 
Abraham Lincoln could hold up to public ridicule the 
reputation for personal bravery of such a man as Lewis 

We may now consider for a space the literary achieve- 
ment of Editors Young and Kimball, basing our remarks 
from the necessity of the case upon the first three issues 
of their magazine. 

^ Milwaukee Courier, July 6, 1842. 

8 Ibid., Aug. 3, 1842. 

9 Ihid., Nov. 16, 1842. 

Wisconsin s First Literary Magazine 


The Garland contained twenty-four pages of prose and 
poetry and sold for one dollar per annum "in advance." 
Thus it may fairly be said to have anticipated by at least 
half a century the deluge of ten-cent magazines which burst 
upon the country about the close of the nineteenth century. 
Moreover, it was to be an illustrated magazine, for the first 
number contains a view of Southport, "drawn and en- 
graved expressly for the Garland''; and information is 
vouchsafed that this will be followed by views of "Milwau- 
kie," Chicago, Racine, and other places. The spirit 
of the editorial salutation to the public is sufficiently 
humble. The editor deprecates his lack of education and 
natural ability and appeals for indulgence at the hands 
of his readers. He takes pride in the magazine, notwith- 
standing, as an evidence of the westward course of empire, 
having in view, also, the fact "that a place which eight or 
ten years ago was a wilderness, should attempt the estab- 
lishment of a Literary Magazine." 

This latter fact aside, perhaps the most noteworthy 
thing about the initial number of the Garland is the atten- 
tion it devotes to poetry. The second article is an account 
by Louis P. Harvey of the poetess "Amelia," with selec- 
tions from her pen. "Amelia" was the pen name of 
Mrs. Amelia B. Welby, wife of a Louisville merchant, 
who, about the year 1838 began to publish poems in the 
papers of Louisville and elsewhere. In 1844 these were 
gathered into a single volume. Poems by Amelia, which ran 
to several editions during the next half dozen years. Born 
in 1819, Mrs. Welby was but a youthful writer even at 
the time of her death which occurred in 185*2. Slie was 
greatly admired by Poe, who wrote for the Democratic 
Review of December, 1844 an extended criticism of her 
poem "The Bereaved." "Very few American poets are at all 
comparable with her in the true poetic (lunlitios," lie 
declared; while as for the poetesses, "Few of them appn)ach 


M, M, Quaife 

her." Governor Harvey, writing almost three years ear- 
lier, when ''Amelia" herself was but twenty-three years 
of age, and when her literary career had reached a span 
of but four years, commends her to readers of the Garland 
as "par excellence the poetess of the West." She has 
never yet appeared before the public "in all the con- 
centrated glory of a book," but she has contributed many 
poems to the newspapers, not only those of the West, 
but as well to the "mammoth" issues of the eastern 
press; having, unaided by wealthy publishers or editorial 
flatterers, "with her wild song caught the ear of willing 
thousands of Americans and even caused it to be wafted 
across the broad Atlantic." Of her skill two examples are 
presented: one, a poem on "The Presence of God," the 
other, "Lines written on seeing an Infant Sleeping in 
its Mother's Bosom." We have space to present only 
the opening stanza of "The Presence of God." 

Oh ! Thou who fling'st so fair a robe 

Of clouds around the hills untrod — 
Those mountain pillars of the globe 

Whose peaks sustain thy throne, oh God — 
All glittering round their sunset skies 

Their fleecy wings are lightly furledy 
As if to shade from mortal eyes 

The glories of yon upper world; 
There, while the evening star upholds, 

In one bright spot, their purple folds, 
My spirit lifts in silent prayer; 

For thou, oh God of love, art there. 

Of this poem, which runs to seven stanzas, the writer 
says: "It should be read at the holy hour of twilight, 
when the cares of the day are thrown aside, the mind at 
peace with the world and the feelings fitted for relishing 
something akin to the murmur of a gushing rivulet or the 
rich melody of the vesper hymn of Nature" — with more 
of similar purport. The italics are the critic's, placed 
to indicate thoughts which he regards as possessed of 
peculiar beauty or delicacy. Whatever may be our con- 

Wisconsin's First Literary Magazine 


elusion with respect to the merits of *'AmeHa/' it is clear 
that her admirer possessed the soul of a poet. 

The twenty-three pages (omitting the editorial in- 
troduction) of the Garland's initial number contain seven 
poems of varying length. One, a sonnet, is taken from 
the Knickerbocker magazine. Except for this and 
"Amelia's" two poems, all are written "for the Garland,'' 
Three of them are by Young, the editor. Judging by the 
three numbers of the magazine before us it is fair to say 
that the poetry produced by the supporters of the Garland 
commonly dealt with sentimental themes which were 
treated in purely conventional fashion. Two of Young's 
offerings, ^'Children at Play" and '*Watch of the Stars," 
are of this character. The third, however, **The Chartists' 
Song," is a stirring hymn of faith in the ultimate victory 
of the notable English economic and political movement 
then waging. Whatever may be thought of its poetical 
quality, the '^Chartists' Song" has the merit of dealing 
sincerely with a great human movement for national 
betterment. If any of our readers have sighed for the 
"good old times," let them ponder this picture of the con- 
dition of life of millions of Englishmen in the days of our 
grandfathers : 

The day is coming, Englishmen, at last; 

See! O'er the hill-tops peers its welcome light; 

Cheer we its advent, cheer we for the night. 
The long, long night of slavery is past. 
Hail ! brothers hail ! the first glad light that breaks 

The gloomy reign of terror and dismay; 
Hail! brothers hail! man's majesty awakes. 

And drives oppression's legions far away. 
We've groaned beneath their iron scourge for years 

Bowed down as men should never bow to man; 
Steeping the food on which we starved with tears; 

That o'er our pale and grief-worn faces ran, 
The lordly priests have fatten 'd on our sweat; 

Our toil hath filled the coffers of the drone; 
Our blood the soil of foreign lands hath wet. 

While these have revel'd quietly at home. 


M. M. Quaife 

We've seen our children pining slow away, 

We've heard their cries, "Oh! father, give us bread," 
We've seen our wives grow thinner day by day, 

Beheld our father's old, time honoured head 
Go famished to the grave. Now what is left? 

We have endured all that men should endure; 
And yet these were not satisfied with theft 

They've rob'd us, and now taunt us with being poor. 

The third issue of the Garland contains, like the first, 
seven poems; a hasty computation reveals that approx- 
imately one-fifth of the magazine is thus devoted to verse^ 
a proportion seldom equaled by general literary periodi- 
cals even at the height of the recent American revival 
of interest in poetry. It is true, of course, that the proper 
test of poetry is qualitative rather than quantitative 
in character; nevertheless, the devotion of so large a pro- 
portion of the Garland to verse indicates that in the editor's 
judgment, at least, the citizens of pioneer Wisconsin felt 
a lively interest in the cultivation of the muse of poetry. 

Professor Cairns states that editors of American literary 
magazines a few years earlier than this were commonly 
hard pressed for material with which to fill their pages. 
"Calls for contributions were so frequent that the ingenuity 
of the editor was taxed to devise new wordings. Gentle- 
men whose early opportunities had been neglected were 
urged to send in their productions with the assurance that 
details of spelling and grammar would be attended to in 
the office." Still the contributions did not come. One man 
wrote all of the first number of the North American Review, 
except one poem; while the editor of the Illinois Monthly 
Magazine, founded in Vandalia in 1830, stated at the close 
of its first year of existence that of the 576 pages contained 
in the first volume 350 had been written by himself, '*a 
very few" by two or three friends ''who have had the 
kindness to assist us occasionally," while the remainder had 
been selected. 

Wisconsin'' s First Literary Magazine 


More fortunate than these, the editor of the Garland 
from the beginning enjoyed the happy privilege of rejecting 
proffered contributions. Readers are informed that *'To 
Brother" is under consideration and may appear in a 
later issue; while "To a Young Poet," **A Vision," and 
other poems are respectfully declined; "the author needs 
practice, a great deal of practice, before he will be able 
to accomplish anything in the poetic way." 

A peculiarity of American literature in the period 
1815-33, commented on by Professor Cairns, finds apt 
illustration in the third issue of the Garland. This was 
the prevalence "every where," and especially in ladies' 
magazines and those devoted to lighter literature, of 
references to seduction. Professor Cairns concludes that 
this does not necessarily indicate a corresponding preva- 
lence of the practice condemned in the poems; rather the 
very unreality of the treatment in most of the articles 
on the subject indicates that this could not have been 
the case. In the poem "Josephine," Walter Wilson of 
Muskego laments to the extent of ten stanzas of eight or 
more lines, each, his baseness, first in seducing and later 
in discarding his sweetheart, as a consequence of which 
she now rests with her babe (and his own) in her "narrow 
home," while he, beset by remorse, dares not seek re- 
lease in death lest in the other world treble his present ills 
beset him. This tragic theme, presented in a way no real 
human beings could possibly have dreamed of enacting 
it, is offered by the hopeful poet as "an imitation of 
Lowell." In view of the fact that Lowell, like "Amelia," 
was but twenty-three years of age, and that he had finished 
his law course and been admitted to the bar only in 1841, 
our western imitator's assumption of familiarity on the part 
of the reading public of the far Northwest with the youth- 
ful eastern poet must have delighted the heart of tlio 
latter if a copy of the Garland ever came to his attention. 


M. M, Quaife 

The poem in imitation of which "Josephine" is offered 
is obviously Lowell's "Rosaline," which appeared in 
Graham's Magazine for February, 1842. That this early 
offering of the fledgling New England poet should so prompt- 
ly attract attention and inspire to imitation in the wilds 
of Wisconsin may perhaps be explained in part by the 
fact that the lake shore population of Wisconsin in this 
period was largely composed of transplanted New Yorkers 
and New Englanders, who might reasonably be expected 
to inform themselves concerning literary and other de- 
velopments in the region from which they had but re- 
cently migrated. The incident illustrates anew, however, 
the rapid spread of literary knowledge in America which 
European travelers often commented upon. Thus, William 
Newnham Blane toured the United States and Canada 
in 1822-23. At St. Louis, then a mere village although 
it was the metropolis of the upper Mississippi Valley, 
Blane found that the Waverley Novels and other English 
works were received and read within "fourteen or sixteen 
weeks" of their first appearance in England. Professor 
Cairns characterizes "Rosaline" as "one of the worst 
of Lowell's juvenalia," so bad that it "reads like a parody 
on itself." Exactly what "Rosaline's" repentant lover 
had done to send her to her grave is not entirely clear. 
Lowell's Wisconsin imitator leaves the reader in no uncer- 
tainty, however, concerning the nature of the wrong 
endured by "Josephine" at the hands of her lover. How- 
ever their offences may have differed, the punishment 
of the lovers was the same — the dead sweethearts rise 
from the grave to haunt them with a patience no less 
remarkable than is their aspect terrifying. The poems are 
too long to reproduce (Lowell's may be found in his 
Collected Works); perusal of their opening stanzas will 
suffice to indicate their character and to reveal, at the 
same time, the degree of fidelity displayed by our Wisconsin 
bard in his attempt at imitating the New England poet: 

Wisconsin s First Literary Magazine 55 


Thou look'd'st on me all yester- 

Thine eyes were blue, thy hair 
was bright, 

As when we murmured our troth- 

Beneath the thick stars, Ro- 
saline ! 

Thy hair was braided on thy head 
As on the day we two were wed, 
Mine eyes scarce knew if thou 
wert dead— 
But my shrunk heart knew, Ro- 
saline ! 

The deathwatch tickt behind the 

The blackness rustled like a pall, 
The moaning wind did rise and 

Among the bleak pines, Rosaline! 
My heart beat thickly in mine 

The lids may shut out fleshly 

But still the spirit sees and hears. 
Its eyes are lidless, Rosaline! 


I passed eight weary hours last 

Thou were beside me ghostly 

And my thick heart throb 'd slow 
with fright, 

To see thee look so, Josephine, 
Thine eyes were dark, they had 
no light, 

Yet ever was their sightless sight 
Fixed on my blanched cheek pale 

and white, 
As when beneath the soft moon- 

We sat together many a night, 
Heartfull of passion, Josephine. 

I could not hide me, Josephine, 
Although I crept the clothes 

And clasp'd mine eye-lids down, 

to screen 
Me from thy fixed gaze, Jose- 

'Twas all in vain, the more I 

The plainer stood'st thou at my 

The trembling bed-clothes through 
were pried, 

As if thou had'st their power 
defied ; 

My lids were glass, they could 
not hide 

My blood-shot eyeballs, Josephine. 

We have discussed somewhat at length the poetic 
contents of the Garland, with little attention as yet to the 
prose. There are eight separate prose articles in the three 
issues of the magazine, ranging in length from less tlian 
a page to articles of nine or more pages, published in 
installments. Two of the articles are essays. Several 
are selected. The scene of one is London, of another 
Paris; another is devoted to Vesuvius. One is by a fifteen 


M, M, Quaife 

year old boy whose youthful genius the editor considers 
it to be his duty to encourage. All are mediocre in quality. 
The poetical output, while constituting a more note- 
worthy manifestation of literary endeavor, can hardly be 
described as other than mediocre. Nevertheless, the 
Garland of the West taken in its entirety is not to be ignored 
by one who would trace the cultural development of 
Wisconsin. Poor as its contributions are from the view- 
point of literary quality, the venture gives evidence of a 
serious desire on the part of our forefathers to develop 
a literature, even while they were laying the initial founda- 
tions of society, and at a time when the commonwealth 
of Wisconsin was still unborn. Numbered among the 
inhabitants of this same village of Southport in 1842 
was Michael Frank, father of the free public school sys- 
tem of Wisconsin. Of Kenosha a local historian wrote 
in 1857^^: **No question can be presented to the public 
of Kenosha that will elicit such general interest as the 
subject of schools. Whenever anything transpires, cal- 
culated either to raise or depress their usefulness, it causes 
a more general sensation among the inhabitants, than 
any other question that is presented for the public con- 
sideration." From such an atmosphere proceeded Wiscon- 
sin's first magazine of literature. If any facts are creditable 
in the life of a community, surely they are such facts as 
these. The citizens of Massachusetts still proudly 
herald to the world the act of their forefathers in early 
making provision for a system of public schools. The 
people of Wisconsin may well recall with similar pride 
the founding in their midst of a monthly literary magazine 
at a time when the total population of the territory but 
little exceeded thirty thousand — its home a village of 
less than eight hundred souls, the site of which only 
seven years before had been a primeval wilderness. 

*° Wis. Hist Colls., Ill, 419. 

W. A. Titus 


The story of the early settlement of Ceresco in Fond du 
Lac County must necessarily be a history of the Wisconsin 
Phalanx, that Utopian and financially successful experi- 
ment in communism that was conceived in Southport 
(now Kenosha) in 1844 and carried into execution in the 
fertile region adjacent to the present city of Ripon. Ceresco 
was the original settlement. It was located in the valley 
on the western edge of Ripon City, which later began its 
existence on the neighboring hills, became a dangerous 
rival, and finally absorbed the earlier community. 

From 1837 (the date of Fourier's death) to 1843 the 
country was profoundly stirred by discussion and agita- 
tion as to the merits of the cooperative and social system 
advocated by the eminent French economist, Francois 
Charles Fourier. He taught (among other things that 
were less creditable) that individual effort was a great 
economic waste as compared with concerted action. It 
was pointed out that the never-ending toil of the house- 
wife could be greatly lessened by the simple expedient 
of a community kitchen and dining room, and that farm 
work could be made easier and more effective by com- 
bined effort. 

This "science of new social relations," as it was called, 
was given wide publicity in this country by the New 
York Tribune and other periodicals of recognized standing, 
and the result was a newly-awakened and widespread 
interest. There was really nothing new in Fourier's 
system except that it was presented in a novel and attract- 
ive manner to a modern civilization. Several colonies 
had already been established in the United States when 


W, A. Titus 

in the autumn of 1843 some of the citizens of Southport, 
Wisconsin Territory, became deeply interested in the 
project. Discussions and debates continued through the 
winter, and in the spring of 1844 an organization was formed 
and articles of agreement were drawn up and signed under 
the name of the Wisconsin Phalanx. Stock was sold at 
$25 a share and a considerable sum of money was raised 
in this way. 

The next step was to find a suitable location for the 
colony, where government land could be purchased cheap. 
The officials secured the services of Ebenezer Childs, 
a prominent citizen of Green Bay, who had a good general 
knowledge of lands in the eastern part of Wisconsin Terri- 
tory. Childs took with him three members of the newly- 
organized community, all good judges of land, and after 
spending almost two weeks in the wilderness and viewing a 
number of locations, they decided in favor of several hundred 
acres of land in a beautiful valley within what is now 
Ripon Township in Fond du Lac County. The land was 
purchased from the government through the Green Bay 
land office. On Sunday, May 27, 1844 nineteen men, the 
advance guard of the new community, reached the chosen 
location. They had driven through the forest from South- 
port with their horses and oxen in six days' time, camping 
by night along the trail. It is probable that no better 
men could have been found for the task they had chosen 
than were these nineteen men and the others that followed 
soon afterward. They were industrious and unafraid of 
hardship and had already accumulated considerable person- 
al property, particularly livestock, before leaving their 
Southport homes. They were typical pioneers and emi- 
nently fitted to wrestle with the wilderness. These 
nineteen men who were willing to risk all in a community 
venture were: Alex. Todd, Jerome C. Cobb, Warren Chase, 
Jacob Beckwith, Nathan Hunter, John Limbert, T. V. 

Historic Spots in Wisconsin 


Newell, H. G. Martin, William E. Holbrook, Uriah Gould, 
Lester Rounds, Laban Stilwell, James Stuart, William 
Dunham, Joseph S. Tracy, Carlton Lane, George H. Steb- 
bins, Seth R. Kellogg, and Chester Adkins. Ebenezer Childs 
joined the colony on June 4 and remained until September 
24, when he returned to Green Bay. The original colonists 
brought with them thirty-four horses, eight yoke of 
oxen, and thirty-eight other cattle. As the spring was 
well advanced when they arrived, no time was lost in 
getting to work. Some of the men began immediately 
to dig cellars, for their first concern was to erect houses in 
which to shelter their families, who had been left in South- 
port and who were ready to follow as soon as the buildings 
were completed. Others of the men set to work to break 
up the sod of the open prairie, as it was necessary to get 
in crops without delay. Twenty acres were prepared and 
sown to grain or planted to vegetables the first season. 
Three houses were built as rapidly as possible, to take care 
of the women and children, and some of the families actual- 
ly arrived before these first homes were ready for occu- 
pancy. As the weather was warm, rude shelter tents were 
used for a time. Each of these dwellings was twenty by 
thirty feet and divided into apartments so that several 
families were housed under one roof. These houses were 
later connected and extended and thus grew into the unique 
''Long House" of the community. Although food was 
prepared and served in common, the privacy of the family 
group was always respected by the Phalanx, and after meals 
each family retired to its own apartment. These buildings 
were all erected in Block 4 of what is now the City of 
Ripon. In the fall of 1844 one hundred acres of prairie 
were broken up and seeded to winter wheat; a sawmill 
was also built by the settlers, but it did not begin to turn 
out lumber until the following spring. 


W. A. Titus 

In the winter of 1845 a charter was obtained from the 
territorial legislature; the same was approved by Gov. 
N. P. Tallmadge on February 6, 1845. The ''Long House" 
above mentioned first took on its characteristic form 
in 1845 and was one of the architectural freaks of this 
social laboratory. It continued to lengthen by additions 
until the building consisted of twenty apartments of 
twenty feet each, arranged in two rows with a long corridor 
between. Each apartment was distinctly separate from all 
others and yet all were under one roof. This is a unique 
feature in the description of a communist settlement 
of seventy -five years ago, but practically the same mode 
of living passes unnoticed today in our large cities where 
the dwellers in flat buildings and apartment houses repair 
daily to the restaurants for their meals. 

The labor at Ceresco was all performed in common 
under the supervision of foremen who met every Saturday 
evening to make their report. Because of their adherence 
to Fourier's principle of self-determination and freedom 
of action, no person was compelled to work at any given 
time nor to labor more hours than he saw fit. His time was 
carefully kept by the foreman to whom he was assigned, 
and he received credit only for the hours when he ac- 
tually worked. There was probably no desire among 
these hardy settlers to shirk or to take advantage of their 
fellows and thus the plan worked well. Evenings were 
given up to community gatherings, and the social life 
during the first few years of the experiment was very satis- 
factory. One evening of each week was set apart for debat- 
ing and discussion, another evening for singing school, 
and still another for dancing and social gatherings. 

Expense accounts were carefully kept and at the end 
of the year it was known exactly what it had cost to 
produce each field of grain or other crop. The cost of raising 
live stock was determined in the same way. Then one- 

Historic Spots in Wisconsin 


fourth of the net increase was added to the capital and 
three-fourths distributed for labor in proportion to the 
number of hours that each member had worked. Skilled 
labor received some special consideration in the distribution 
of wages. At the close of 1845, about nineteen months 
after the establishment of the community, the second 
annual report was issued. It went into minute detail and 
showed a healthy financial condition. The capital had 
increased to $27,775.22 and was unencumbered. It ap- 
peared that 102,760 hours of labor had been performed 
during the year, of which 21,170 hours had been expended 
in cooking or deducted for the board of members. The 
whole number of weeks' board charged to members was 
4,234, and the cost of board per week was fixed at 44 
cents in cash and five hours labor. This left 81,590 
hours of labor to be paid for out of three fourths of the 
net profits, and the ofiicers of the Phalanx fixed the wage 
for the year at 7)^ cents for each hour of common labor 
after board for the entire family had been deducted. 
The capital invested earned 12 per cent during the same 
year. While 1846 was a less prosperous year owing to a 
partial crop failure, still the organization was enabled to pay 
5 cents per hour for labor, and 6 per cent on the capital. 
The population of the colony had increased to 180 by 
the close of 1846. 

During 1847 the association earned net profits of 
$9,029.73, and its property was appraised at $32,564.18. 
The annual dividend amounted to 1 % per cent and the 
wage paid to common labor was 7t% cents per hour. 
For 1848 the dividend paid amounted to 6 34 per cent, 
and 634 cents per hour was paid for the labor. In 1849 
there were signs of approaching disintegration, altliou^h 
it was still a paying proposition. The population liad 
decreased to 120 due to dissatisfaction with the community 
restrictions. During this year 8^ cents ])or hour was 


W. A. Titus 

paid for labor. There was never any dissatisfaction 
with the financial returns, but social conditions and business 
restrictions became irksome to many of the members. 
The seeds of dissolution had already been sown, and in 
April, 1850, the property was appraised and divided 
and the organization went out of existence. True to its 
financial record, the stock netted its owners a premium 
of 8 per cent when the affairs of the community were 
settled up. 

The history of this experiment is an interesting one to 
the economist; but its failure as a communist settlement 
demonstrated the impossibility of keeping ambitious Ameri- 
cans within the limits of a restricted environment. Outside 
interests of the male members and a longing for less re- 
stricted social advantages on the part of the women and 
young people may be given as the reasons for the disinte- 
gration of the Wisconsin Phalanx. It is probable that 
more favorable conditions for the success of a communistic 
colony never existed. The members were of high character, 
stable, and industrious, and free from objectionable cults 
and practices. The location was an ideal one and the 
soil was highly productive. Today Ripon Township is one 
of the garden spots of Wisconsin, and the city of Ripon is 
known throughout the region for the high average of its 
citizenship. It has a prosperous college, and the noticeable 
atmosphere of a college city. 




Chauncey H. Cooke 

Decatur, Alabama, May 1, 1864 
Co. G., 25th Wis. 
Dea Parents: The march toward Chattanooga began this 
morning. The order came last night, after an all day's rain 
to strike tents this morning and be ready at sunrise to march. 
This means our entire brigade. The enemy's guns that had 
been pounding away at us for nearly a week were silenced by 
our batteries two days ago and since then there has been no 
excitement till the marching order came last night. Rations 
for three days were given each man which about filled our 
haversacks. Then at roll call we were told what was expected 
of us. That we were to join a large army that Sherman was 
collecting at Chattanooga and that we were to begin a hun- 
dred and fifty mile march toward Chattanooga the next day. 
The boys cheered and said they were glad to go anywhere for 
a change. We crossed the Tennessee river on pontoons and 
marched toward Mores ville, our old camp. The mud was from 
three to six inches deep and fearful sticky. Marched about V2 
miles and came into camp just as the sun went below the moun- 
tains. Our camp is on the grassy bank of a pretty river. I 
don't know it's name. It has been hot and muggy and the hard 
work of plodding thru the mud has tuckered me a little. I have 
just come from the river where I had a good wash. Lots of the 
boys threw away their blankets and winter underwear. 
Dan Hadley, who is cook for our mess of four, has called to supper 
so I must quit for to-night. 

May 2nd: — The reveille roused us this morning before sun- 
rise and a crowd of negroes that had come into camp to look at 
the Yankee soldiers began singing some plantation songs for the 

^ This is the concluding instalhnent of a scries of war litno lollors. tiio pulili« nl ion 
of which was begun with the issue of this magazine for September, IdM. 



boys. They have a banjo and I tell you they can play it and 
dance too. I have washed in the river this morning and while 
Dan and Obe build the fire, fry the hard tack and sow belly, and 
boil the coffee I am writing a line or two on this heavy sheet 
torn from a merchant's ledger in Decatur. It's hard to get paper 
to write on. On the other side you will see a list of things sold 
by the merchant to Bill Parker's nigger George back in 1858. 
"Nigger George" was a slave. 

7 o'clock p.m. We made several halts today to rest but the 
ground was so wet we couldn't lay down without our rubbers un- 
der us. A regiment of cavalry passed us as we halted this fore- 
noon and all seemed to be so jolly I wished for a while I was in 
the cavalry so I wouldn't blister my feet marching. Came into 
Huntsville, Alabama, just at sunset, having marched 18 miles. 
A lot of the boys are crippling around with sore feet. I am 
washing mine three times a day in cold water which helps them. 
There is a lot of troops gathered here all destined for Chattanooga. 
Camp fires are blazing everywhere. Fences, boxes, old buildings 
and every movable thing is picked up and pulled down to make 
fires. It looks tough to burn up nice picket fences, but the boys 
must have fires to cook by. 

* * * 

Hd. Quarters, 25th Wis. Vol. 
Huntsville, Alabama, May 3rd, 1864. 
Dear Mother: I think I sent you my last from this place. 
I am taking this from some scrawls in my note book. I got a 
letter from home this morning while waiting for orders to march. 
Am truly glad to hear that you are out of debt at last. It used to 
trouble me when I went in the field to hoe corn to think that you 
was in debt. It made my hoe feel heavy. We are on the march 
again thru pine forests and over mountains enroute for Chat- 
tanooga. Troops are coming in and swelling our force from all 
directions. We are passed every little while by cavalry on good- 
feeling horses, prancing along, and by four and six gun batteries, 
eight big horses to each gun, the cannoneers laughing and talking 
as they pound along in the cassions. The cannoneers have a snap 
on the road and today as I limped along on a blistered foot, 

The Letters of Chauncey H, Cooke 


I wished I could trade places with one of them. But I would 
rather be in the ranks when the tug of war begins. When it 
comes long range shooting the boys that man the big guns catch 
it first. I guess I am satisfied where I am. There is talk that the 
Johnnies are bound to give us a fight at Chattanooga. We have 
had a long tedious march today over mountains and thru valleys 
that were pretty and green and wading creeks over shoe top that 
didn't really help our sore feet. The streams here are clear and 
cool and come from springs. No danger of fever from drinking 
Alabama spring water. 

Marched 23 miles today. My feet are not so sore as yester- 
day. Many of the boys are badly crippled and will have to take 
the ambulance tomorrow. I am glad I ain't one of them. Some 
of them are shamming and it puts every honest soldier that 
complains under suspicion. 

Not many minutes after coming into camp every fence and 
movable thing in sight is pulled down to make the fires. God 
pity this south land when we are done with it. 

May 4th. Struck camp, not tents, this morning, for we had 
none. The sky all spangled with stars was our only covering 
last night. I lay with my face to the north and for a long time 
looking at the only thing I knew — the north star and the big 
dipper. It seems lower down than in Wisconsin. 

At Woodville, 8 miles distant, we took the train for Chat- 
tanooga. Our cars were cattle cars. Some of the boys said d — 
the cattle cars, and some said God be praised for even cattle cars. 
At 9 p. m. we got under way for Chattanooga. Rushing thru the 
mountains, rumbling over rivers and gorges that made one's head 
swim to look down. Some of the tressels were fearful high. 

May 5th. Woke up this morning just as the train crossed 
Tennessee River. I must have been jolted round a good deal 
as I found myself in the corner of the car some four feet from 
where I lay down. I was awakened by a lot of the boys singing 
"When Johnny Comes Marching Home." INIax Brill and a 
Company K man, who had somehow got into our car. was loading 
the band. Max made the noise and the Co. K man ina(l<» the 



Arrived in sight of Chattanooga at 11 a.m. The level plain 
far as I can see is literally covered with troops. Nothing but 
tents, tents, tents, by the ten thousand. Music by hundreds of 
bands is floating and humming in the air. 160 thousand rations 
were issued this morning to this vast army. 

And this was before our division of ten thousand men came in. 
Got off the cars, cooked our dinner and lay round on our blanket 
watching the steady tramp of columns going and coming until 
6 o'clock. We were suddenly ordered into ranks and marched 
out 5 miles and camped for the night at the base of Missionary 
Ridge, where our brave comrades made that heroic charge in 1863. 
Lookout Mountain, whose summit is swathed in a blue cloud, 
is about four miles distant from our encampment and about 
the same from Chattanooga. 

May 6th. It was late before we slept last night. There was 
a constant clatter of cavalry passing, of carbines and swords 
jangling and of the pounding of gun carriages, over the big rocks 
that made these roads a terror. The boys think we are close to a 
fight and there ain 't much loud talk. The mail carrier is coming 
to gather the letters, good bye. Will write again soon. Direct by 
way of Chattanooga. Your boy, 


P. S. Direct to 16th Army Corps, via Chattanooga. 

Army of the Southwest 
May 10th, 1864. 

Dear Folks at Home: I send you my diary for three days of 
hard marching and rather hard fare. * * * 

May 6th. We had hardly time to swallow our coffee when we 
were ordered to fall in and march this morning before daylight. 
We marched out 12 miles thru the Chickamauga battle ground. 
For ten miles of the way the woods were scarred and limbed and 
many trees cut in two by solid shot. All the way little mounds 
showed where the boys fell and were buried. The battle ground is 
generally level and covered with timber. The heavy shot has 
mowed fearful paths on all sides thru the tree tops. Camped a lit- 
tle before sunset at Gordon's Mills. Am sitting with my feet in 

The Letters of Chauncey H. Cooke 


some spring water writing these notes. Several of the boys are 
with me bathing their blistered feet. 

May 7th. Broke camp and began our march at sunrise thru 
a rough mountainous country, expecting the enemy to attack 
any minute. Cannonading is heard on our left. Met a lot of 
poor whites leaving the country. They are a wretched looking lot. 
They say we are the first Yanks they ever saw. The horses 
and cattle and pigs, like the people driving them, are the sorriest 
things I ever saw. The wagons were driven by the women, and 
the men, with long-barreled guns and five to ten children, all 
white haired, followed behind driving the cattle and a sheep or 
two and sometimes a pig. These were all mountain people, the 
clay eaters and best shots in the rebel army. Some of the boys 
asked them what they were fighting for, and they answered, "You 
Yanks want us to marry our daughters to the niggers." Poor 
ignorant devils. Marched 18 miles today. Went into camp at 
sunset — such a sunset ! Just such as I have often seen in my Wis- 
consin home, with the bluff tops all warm and yellow just fading 
into twilight. 

May 8th. Marched but 8 miles today over stony roads and 
steep mountain sides and crossed many beautiful spring streams. 
Farms, or plantations as they call them here, look as if they had 
been prosperous but they are all deserted. The negroes have 
mostly gone and the whites are in the army. 

May 9th. It was no secret that we were close to the enemy 
eighty thousand strong. Our forward march began early. We 
made from 8 to 10 miles. The left column of our corps met the 
enemy and for an hour the cannonade was fierce. The ambulance 
corps brought back many dead and wounded. The wagon trains, 
several miles in extent, were halted and packed under cover 
of several batteries of artillery and a big reserve of infantry. 
Mounted orderlies were coming and going on fast horses all day 
long. Nobody knew what the next hour would bring forth. 
We were ordered to keep our guns in prime condition and our 
boxes full of bullets. 

A great army of infantry lay about us, all waiting liki^ our- 
selves for the order to march. All of a sudden there came a roll 
of voices in a mighty shout from the rear. While we were wonder- 



ing wluat it meant a'troop of cavalry came galloping along headed 
by tlie famous cavalry leader, Gen. Kilpatrick. It made the boys 
feel mighty good to see this daring cavalry leader, who was such 
a terror to the rebels. He is a little fellow, about 5 feet 5 with 
brown hair, thin beard and mild gray eyes. He kept touching his 
hat brim as his mare, all foam, went galloping by. 

[TAs the yellow sun went below the Georgia mountains last 
night, the bands from more than twenty regiments filled the air 
with their music. I wondered how it would strike the ear of the 
rebel picket on the mountain side in front of us. I rolled in my 
blanket, with my clothes on, and tried to sleep. About midnight 
I was awakened from dreams of home by the rushing cavalry 
horses and the grinding of artillery wagons. We soon learned that 
the rebel Gen. Wheeler was making a move to capture our 
supply trains. The wagons were being hurried to the rear and 
every surrounding regiment ordered to get in motion and join in 
the retreat. With the rest of the army we were soon on the counter 
march, in the darkness, over swollen streams and stumbling over 
stones we could not see, plunging thru the mud and often entan- 
gled in the overhanging limbs. God, what a night and what a 
morning. Can I ever forget it? No never. The retreat thru 
the hills of Georgia, following the supply trains of the Union army 
will long be remembered. I am all right and ready for the fray. — 
Direct via Chattanooga. 

Ever dear parents, Yours, 

Sherman's Army, May 10th, 1864. 

Dear Parents : 

I am writing you again today. I wrote you only day before 
yesterday but all the boys have the fever, as it looks, of writing let- 
ters tonight. Cannons are booming both on the right and on the 
left, and as our Lieutenant says, things look mighty squally for 
tomorrow. I can't say that I am a bit nervous, but as the boys 
say, some of us may be where we can't send letters tomorrow 
and better send 'em now. 

We were up and ready for orders to march early this morning 
but the order did not come until 9 o'clock. The enemy 's shells 

The Letters of Chauncey H. Cooke 


have been screaming and bursting over head, killing and wound- 
ing a lot of men in our division. 

Marching out to the front some three miles, and we were near- 
ly all day doing it, so conflicting were the reports of our scouts 
and couriers as to the location and strength of the enemy. 

Finally we came to a halt for the night just as the rain was 
pouring down in torrents. Everything got soaking wet but our 
powder. We kept our powder dry. I am afraid you can't read this, 
my paper is so wet and greasy. In my hurry this morning I put my 
writing paper in my haversack along with my plate and sow 

Night came on at last and with it the hardest storm I ever 
saw. Our little fly tents let the water thru like sieves. We didn 't 
have any time to pick up brush for a bed and so lay on the ground. 
Some of the boys said they were laying in the water two inches 
deep when the sentinels came rushing into camp shouting, * ' To 
arms to arms, the rebs are coming." Our camp was in a forest 
of great pine trees, and I had gone to sleep, as no doubt had the 
others, while the thunder was crashing around us and the wind and 
rain was pouring thru the pine tops with an awful roar. 

We were already as wet as drowned rats when we sprang out 
into the open storm, slinging on our cartridge boxes and knap- 
sacks and fastening our dripping blankets to our belts, and pulling 
down our flimsy fly tents and tying them like belts around us and 
falling into the retreating column fast as we could. No questions 
were asked, not a word was said, every fellow for the time was 
willing to obey orders. The brave boys, who generally knew a 
lot more than Sherman, didn 't say a word last night. 

We turned our backs to the enemy and retraced our steps 
over terrible roads, sometimes in mud and water to our middle. 
It was pitch dark only as flashes of lightning lit up the struggling 
mass about us. Stumbling over rocks and roots, many foil full 
length in the muddy water of the overflowing streams and in the 
muddy track of the plunging column. We made about four mil<^s 
and halted near a big corral of supply trains. We wore ordond 
to build fires and dry our blankets. It's pretty hard to toll what 
Sherman is trying to do. The report is tliat the rebs aro uiaking 



feints at different points along our lines, trying to break thru, 
and that Sherman is planning to bag their army. 

Our retreat last night looked as if we were the party nearest 
bagged. But you can 't tell. Sherman has an awful army. The 
line is three columns deep and twenty miles long. That the armies 
are close together, there is no doubt, as we can hear guns going all 
night long. 

We are hearing good news from the Potomac. The sun is 
fearfully hot this morning and all hands are trying to dry their 
soaked clothes. 

It is ten o'clock and no orders yet to march. The five or six 
hundred supply wagons alongside us in a big cornfield, with their 
four and six mule teams all plastered with mud, show no signs of 

Word has just come to be ready to march in fifty minutes. 
Couriers are galloping up and down the line and the officers are 
calling out orders to pick up and pack up. 

Send me some stamps and direct by way of Chattanooga. 
In haste. Love to mother, sister and the boys. Will write again 
the first chance. 


Camp in the Pine Woods, near Resaca, 
Georgia, May 17th, 1864. 
Dear Parents: I have something to tell you this time. We 
have been in a big fight and lost near three hundred men, killed, 
wounded, and prisoners. I am mighty glad to tell you that I am 
all right. I had several close calls as did all the boys for that 
matter. We have been under fire and losing men right along for 
three days. Many of our boys were killed and wounded at long 
range firing from the rebel fort by shot and shell so far that we 
could not return it and had to take it. A good part of the time 
we were supporting batteries that were trying to silence or dis- 
mount the big guns on the rebel fort. I want to tell you the John- 
nies were all fixed for us. Think of two hundred guns on our 
side, 12 and 14 pounders, pouring shot and shell fast as men could 
load and fire into the enemy's fort while two and in some places 
three, lines of infantry were compelled to stand or lay in front of 

The Letters of Chauncey H, Cooke 


these batteries, exposed to shot and bursting shell and no chance 
to shoot back. I don 't know where to begin to tell you, nor how 
to tell you, of the last four days, besides we are under marching 
orders to be ready to go at a moment's notice, just as we have 
been night and day for several days. As I write this, cannons are 
roaring on our left toward Buzzard Roost and no soldier knows 
what the next hour may bring. I can scarcely keep my eyes open 
to write, altho it is but ten o 'clock in the morning. We have had 
so little sleep for a week, night or day. On the 12th, word was 
passed that the rebs had made a stand at Resaca and that the 
place was fortified and mounted with big cannons and mortars. 
During the night of the 12th, Sherman planted his batteries on 
every hill and ridge overlooking the town, and in the morning of 
the 13th, at day break, both the rebel fort and our brass batteries 
opened a terrific fire. Our regiment was ordered to take a position 
in advance of a string of batteries, while another column of 
infantry filed in front of us. 

It was a sight never to be forgotten, to see, as we could from 
the ridge, column after column of troops, two and three lines deep, 
forming in battle line away on our left for a mile and a half. Here 
and there a bursting shell from the fort would throw the lines into 
confusion killing and wounding scores of men. By the time the 
smoke cleared up the lines would reform, the dead and wounded 
would be carried back by the ambulance corps. All that day until 
night, the big guns on the fort thundered at our batteries on every 
hill and ridge, on the north and west side. I don 't know what our 
loss was. A shell burst just over us, killing and wounding a 
number in Co. K., next our Co. A shell burst directly over me, 
cutting a hole in my blanket and the piece making a hole in the 
ground within a few inches of my body. The battery, just in our 
rear, was put out of business for a time by a bursting shell from 
the fort, dismounting three guns, killing and wounding the gun- 
ners, and smashing the gun carriages to splinters. It was a 
horrible sight to see the poor fellows wounded and niangl<Ml. T^>ni: 
before night the valley of the Coosa was thick with smoke so that 
we could no longer see the belching clouds of smoke sent out 
from the fort. I see a courier galloping to headciuarters. 1 >up- 



pose it means sm order to fall in. Will finish my story of the 
battle Resaca if I live, first chance. 

The mail carrier is calling for letters so good bye. Am 
feeling fine. 

Your boy, 

Camp in the Pines, Georgia. 

16th Army Corps, May 18th, 1864. 
Dear Parents : After we finished breakfast and had strapped 
on our cartridge belt, our haversack and our knapsack and cleaned 
and primed muskets and fallen in, an order came to be at ease 
for an hour or so until a long column of cavalry and artillery, 
which wanted all the road, could get by. Our foxy old General 
Sherman was coming another flank move to the right, and the 
cavalry and artillery were ordered ahead. 

There is heavy firing five or six miles on our left and word has 
just been passing down the line that the rebs at Dalton have made 
a fierce sortie on our lines at that point. It looks strange to see 
our troops marching quietly to the right with all this rumpus on 
the left. But our bully old General knows his business and we 
feel easy. 

I have something more to tell you about Resaca, while we are 
resting. The evening of the 14th, under cover of the smoke that 
filled the valley just before sundown, the lines of infantry were 
advanced nearly a mile toward the town. Our regiment was put 
on the extreme front. We crossed the Coosa creek or river, about 
as big as the Elk at Gilmanton, and took up a position in the edge 
of the woods with a big open plantation or clearing between us 
and the rebel infantry, lined up in a strip of woods at the edge 
of this clearing a quarter of a mile from us. The rebels discovered 
us first and began a terrific fire on us from their cover of brush and 
logs. Then the order came for us to open fire. There is no use to 
try to tell you of the excitement, of the cries of the officers, of the 
whistling of bullets and shells and above all else the roar of guns. 
Every fellow loaded and fired fast as he could. We were ordered 
to rest on our knees instead of standing where we could, as at short 
range firing most of the bullets went high. We had not emptied 

The Letters of Chauncey H. Cooke 73 

our boxes before it got dark and we had to aim at the line of fire 
from the guns of the enemy. After it got quite dark the firing 
stopped and we went back to the bank of the Coosa and made 
our coffee, and spreading our ponchos or rubbers on the wet earth 
lay down on our stomachs with all our belts and belongings 
fastened to us, and tried to sleep. It was poor sleeping. We 
thought of the poor fellows who were taking their last sleep and 
of the many who were suffering from wounds and broken limbs. 
Long before daylight we were ordered to dig trenches and pile up 
log barricades on the edge of the open clearing still nearer to the 
rebel line of defense. There was no warm coffee the morning of 
the 15th. We lunched on hard-tack and some smoked bacon 
and ham that our cavalry boys had captured the night before and 
rationed out during the night. 

10 o'clock a. m. We have just had a bugle call to fall in, 
but after standing in the ranks a half hour, we were ordered again 
to * *grab a root, ' ' meaning to rest standing or lying down. I take 
my pencil and here goes for the rest of my story. 

All night long some of the wakeful boys heard officers on the 
fort swearing and giving orders. Some thought it meant they 
were moving their big guns or they were planting more big guns. 
Anyway when the first streak of daylight came both sides opened 
a hot musketry fire. Both sides were protected behind barricades. 
We thought it strange that there were so few big guns being used 
at the fort. 

Our batteries, a half mile at our rear, opened up their thunder 
upon the town with very little reply. By midday the smoke in 
the valley of the Coosa became so thick we had to shoot by guess. 
I emptied my cartridge box many times during the day as did 
the others. I saw men often drop after shooting, but didn 't know 
that it was my bullet that did the work and really hope it was not. 
But you know that I am a good shot. 

During the day we took turns sleeping behind our log bar- 
ricades. I could sleep but many could not willi ten thousand guns 
roaring in their ears. 

Say, do you know that it was my 18th birthday.^ Shortly 
after noon one of our cannon shot away the rebel flag on thr fort. 
There must have been twenty thousand Union soldiers see it fall. 



from the shout that was sent up along our lines. Such a day and 
such a night. When night set in not a gun replied from the fort. 
The firing ceased on our side. The night of the 15th we lay upon 
the bare earth, eating cold scraps such as we had and listening to 
sounds at the fort we could not understand. In the morning our 
pickets reported that the high bridge across the Coosa had been 
burned and the rebel army had retreated. Not a gun was fired 
in the morning. The fort was silent as the grave. There was 
a hasty gathering of regiments and forming into column. But 
I have no more time for details. 

There is a roar of big guns on our right and the cavalry and 
batteries that have been stringing leisurely along, are whipping 
their horses into a trot. They have orders to hurry up. 

Good bye. 

Your son, 

Near Lost Mountain, Georgia, 
2nd Brigade, 4th Division, 
16th Army Corps. May 20th,1864. 

Dear Parents: I have been too busy to think of writing 
for some days, and if not busy have been sleeping or trying to 
sleep. We have had ten days and nights of fearful campaigning. 
The doctors are sending back thousands of men who are sick 
and dying for want of sleep. There hasn't been a minute of 
time, night or day, that guns are not heard or that our regiment 
has not been losing men, and yesterday it all wound up with a 
most terrible fight at Dallas or Lost Mountain. 

I am writing by the light of a rail fire laying on my stomach 
about 1 o'clock in the morning. Have been on special duty 
digging trenches and piling up log breastworks in expectation 
of an attack. This sort of thing has been going on for eight days. 
One day we would march to the right and the next day to the left. 
Last week we dug trenches during the day and marched by night, 
this week we are marching by day and digging nights. The rebel 
generals keep Sherman guessing most of the time. If we did not 
have a much bigger army, we would stand a poor show in these 
mountains. For a week we have been winding round mountains, 

The Letters of Chauncey H. Cooke 


wading mountain streams and twisting about in great pine woods, 

falling asleep as we marched and stumbling over roots and stones. 

Then we would come to a halt to let some cavalry troops get by or 

some batteries that were badly wanted at the front. Then we 

would drop down on our faces where we stood and snatch a few 

minutes' sleep, only to be routed by that awful bugle call to rouse 

up and march. The fact is, the bugle terrifies us more than rebel 

bullets. In many places the valleys or gorges in these mountains 

are so narrow that we have to wade for a long way in the streams 

that run down them. Of course our feet are always wet, but this 

water is good to drink and we thank God that we don't suffer from 

thirst as we did. 

Lieutenant McKay has just come round, as he is on duty 

tonight, and warns me that I better quit my writing and go to 

bed, so I must leave off telling you of the battle of the Lost 

Mountain until next letter. I took two or three naps while 

scribbling this and maybe you can't read it. I am feeling fine. 

Have had no letter from home lately. Tell Dora to see Miss A. 

and ask her to write. Direct to Chattanooga, 16th Armj^ Corps. 

Goodbye mother and father. ^_ , . 

Your iovmg 


40 Miles from Dallas, Georgia, 
In the Great Pine Woods, 
June 1st, 1864. 

Dear Parents: For three days we have been on special 
detail duty guarding a supply train of several hundred wagons 
of hard -tack and ammunition. We came into camp late last nigh t , 
and while the wagon train has pulled out this morning wc are 
told to be at ease until future orders. I am in the shade of some 
great pines this morning and I am glad, for the heat of the sun 
is fearful. With my back against a great yellow pine I am seated 
to tell you of the fight at Dallas or Lost Mountain. Dallas is a 
little, sorrowful, humble village of some 600 souls about two miles 
from a great black forest-covered mound called T^ost Moun- 

If I live a hundred years I shall never forget the fearful ni.uht 
of the 29th of May, 1864, when all the earth and sky seemed on 



fire and in a struggle for life or death. In the space of thirty 
minutes 2,000 men were killed and three times as many wounded, 
many of them to die. 

Before we reached Dallas on the 27th, we had been told by the 
natives along the way that a big army of 40,000 men was waiting 
for us Yanks on Lost Mountain. On account of the heavy timber 
we were within six or seven miles of the mountain before we saw 
it. It looked to us like a great big mound two or three miles 
long covered with a dense forest. We thought of Resaca and of 
course kept our eyes on the mountain at every opening. We 
didn 't make more than five or six miles that day. A halt would 
be called every few minutes to let a cavalry regiment cross, going 
to the right or the left, or a battery, sometimes two or three, 
would come tearing by, when we would take to the side of the road 
and drop down on our bellies for a nap till they got by. We 
camped on the outskirts of Dallas on the night of the 27th 
between the town and the mountain. There were only a few 
people left in town and they were packing up and hurrying 
away in expectation that the town would be burned. 

On the morning of the 28th, John W. Christian and I were 
detailed to go on picket duty. Our beat lay within 80 rods of the 
rebel breastworks on the side of Lost Mountain. Sharpshooters in 
the tops of the trees kept pegging away at us for four hours. We 
changed our position several times but they kept their eyes on us. 
We were in a cornfield full of rotten stumps. We got behind one 
of these stumps put up a rubber blanket for a shade and lay down 
as close together as we could. They got our range and presently 
the bullets began to whistle past us, striking the ground but a few 
feet from us. I said to John, ' ' Let 's get out of this. " * * Wait, ' ' 
he said, * * until they come closer. ' ' The next moment two shots 
ripped through the rubber above us, one of them grazing John 's 
breast and tearing a hole in the ground between us. We rolled out 
of that in a hurry, grabbed our blankets and took a position lower 
down the hill. John Christian is a dandy boy. He isn't afraid 
of anything. In the afternoon about 4 o 'clock, we were relieved 
to take a sleep. 

As soon as it got dark we were ordered to build breastworks 
of logs not more than fifty rods from the rebel lines justfacross 

The Letters of Chauncey H, Cooke 


a deep gulch from the foot of the mountain, About ten at night 
we were ordered back to camp for a few hours sleep, and the next 
morning at three o'clock before daylight, we were in these 
trenches facing the rebel lines, which were protected like ours. 
All day long we shot wherever we saw a hand, a head, or puff of 
smoke, and the rebels did the same. Some times our side would 
call out to the rebs, asking them to hold up and talk things over. 
**A11 right, ' ' they would say, and for some time both sides would 
talk over things about the war, and about their girls, and about 
exchanging hard-tack for ham, and whiskey for tobacco. Then 
some voice would call out, ''Look out for your life!" and the 
shooting would begin. Several times during the day both sides 
would agree to a truce for ten minutes or twenty minutes, and 
some of the more daring on both sides would meet half way and 
exchange tobacco for whiskey and sometimes newspapers, 
sometimes to shake hands merely. Soon as the first fellow got 
back to his barricade he would call out, ''Say pard are you 
ready?" If the answer came back, "All ready!" at once a 
dozen guns, perhaps a hundred would answer back the chal- 

About the middle of the afternoon the canteens of my squad, 
some 30 men, were empty. The orderly called for volunteers to 
take the canteens and carry them back to the branch some 
60 rods and refill them. I was the first man to step out 
and Jake Bolunger of Alma followed me. Jake and I made the 
trip all right both coming and going over a ridge in plain view 
and range of sharpshooters who pelted us with a shower of 
bullets both ways, Jake fell down on his way out not twenty rods 
from the trenches. I had got to a stump and made a halt to get 
my second wind. I called to him. He answered back, "I am 
all right." The rebel sharpshooters thinking they had killed 
him stopped shooting at him, when he jumped up i\m\ ran over 
the ridge out of sight. We got back with our canteens of water 
all safe. 

Early in the evening of May 29th after a day of incessant 
musket firing we were ordered back to cam}) along witli tlie rest 
of our division. There had been a rumor that the Jolmnies (rebels) 
were evacuating and still another story that they were (ont t^i- 



trating all their cannon along the line of our front and were 
planning an assault. There was a mystery about it that kept our 
oflBcers guessing. The thing that looked suspicious to us, if we 
were to make a flank move, was the increased number of batteries 
that were lined up along the crest of the ridge just above and 
behind us. Word was passed along the line that old Leather 
Breeches, with his eight big brass bulldogs (cannon) had taken 
a position just in our rear. Leather Breeches had the best 
battery in the army and every soldier knew that when the old 
Dutch captain's war dogs barked it meant business. Before the 
smoke had cleared away, that sent a shell into the rebel ranks, 
the boys would run up and hug the guns and call them dear 

We were in the edge of a cornfield littered with stumps 
and stubs. In the three lines lying just in advance of some fifty 
big guns on the ridge we could see all of our division and part 
of another. We ate our hard-tack and drank cold water for 
supper and we lay down for a little rest with all our belts and 
blankets strapped on. Everything had grown quiet along our 
front save a few shots from the sharpshooters. On our left there 
was an occasional boom of cannon some miles off. Yes, and 
now and then a burst of spiteful musketry close on both our 
right and left. We were finally lulled into a broken sleep by the 
music of many regimental bands, which our General had 
ordered to keep playing. We lay down on the bare earth with 
everything strapped to us but our guns and the air of *'Home 
Sweet Home" in our ears. It was near 1 o 'clock at night. There 
was no threatening sound save the steady tramp of the 16th 
army Corps with its infantry and cavalry and batteries moving 
steadily to the left without any voice of command. Our cat-naps 
were giving way to sound sleep when, from the forest height of 
Lost Mountain, there came a chorus of bugle notes that caused 
50,000 Union soldiers tired and weary, to spring to their feet. 
We knew too well that it meant an onslaught of the rebel army. 
In an instant we were on our feet. The next moment came the 
command: "Lie down until the enemy shows itself above the 
crest of the hill." I have no pen to tell you of the awful scenes and 
sounds of the next three quarters of an hour. How near the rebel 

The Letters of Chauncey H, Cooke 79 

infantry came to our lines that night we do not know. The heav- 
ens above us seemed to boil with fiery red smoke from ours and the 
rebel cannons. It must be we were too well prepared. Not a half 
mile from our right a thousand men were killed in 30 minutes and 
three thousand were wounded, perhaps most of thetn mortally. 
God, what a night was the night of May the 29th for Sherman 's 
army. It was a night of dazzling, glaring, shrieking sounds. The 
earth seemed crashing into ten thousand atoms. The sky but 
an hour ago so pitchy black, seemed boiling with smoke and flame. 
And the horrid shrieking shot, and bursting shells, then the' 
shouting of commanders and cheering of men, mingled with the 
sputter of muskets and the roar of batteries, made the world 
about us seem like a very hell. Just behind our division alone was 
a solid line of cannon for near a half mile, vomiting fiery streams 
of shot and shell that cam^e screaming close above our heads. 
Many of them were so badly timed that they burst above our 
lines killing and wounding our own men. And for every broad- 
side from our big guns there came an answering roar from the rebel 
lines. The real death struggle at short range musket firing was 
a quarter of a mile on the right of our division. The forest there 
was dense and unbroken. There most of the 4,000 men, who 
were killed and wounded, fell and all in less than an hour. We 
talked it all over with the fellows who were in the thick of it 
next morning. How they were under marching orders to move to 
the left, how they had quit the trenches under the belief that the 
rebel army was retreating. Then came those bugle notes which 
meant a rebel charge and a fight to the finish. They may tell 
of hell and its awful fires, but the boys who went thru the fijiht 
of Dallas with all its scenes, are pretty well prepared for any 
event this side of eternity. Full of whiskey and gunpowder 
the rebel ranks charged again and again the ITnion lines, only 
to be repulsed again and again with fearful slaughter. They 
charged with their hats pulled down over their eyes like men 
who cared only to throw away their lives. With every repulse 
of the rebels, a cheer of victory came up the Union lines 
and was borne away in a mighty roar by fifty thousand <\ij:<t 
voices on our left. For the rest of the nigJit we slept upou our 
arms within ear shot of the cries of the woiUKhvl an<l dyinj?. 



every house in Dallas being pressed into service as a hospital. 
The cries of the wounded and dying murdered all sleep for me 
that night and I thought many many times of father's saying: 
that every life taken by Union or Rebel bullets was a sacrifice 
to the crime of slavery. 

You may have to pay some extra postage on this heavy paper. 
I am writing on paper torn from some merchant 's ledger, picked 
up in the streets of Dallas. The boys have run out of letter 
paper and are using any sort of paper. 

Orders have been passed along the line to be prepared for a 
night's march. 

I have not had a letter for some days. The report is the rail- 
road in our rear has been cut by a raiding party. If this is so you 
may not get this letter very soon. 

There is a rumor that the rebel army is making another 
stand at a place called Big Shanty. 
Am feeling all right. Love to all. 


Head Quarters First Battalion 
2nd Brigade 16th Army Corps, 
Camp in the Georgia Pine Woods. 

June 2nd, 1864. 

Dear Mother: I awakened this morning with my face and 
feet both outside my rubber blanket, washed by the falling rain. 
I was on duty until 1 o'clock digging trenches and building 
breastworks. Our division of six regiments is on special duty 
guarding supply trains of wagons loaded with ammunition 
and provisions for a hundred thousand men. Since I wrote you 
last our brigade has moved twice, but not more than two miles 
each time. The fact is, we move as the rebel army moves. We 
are on the extreme right of Gen. Sherman's big army, and we 
have to be wide awake and on the alert for the flankers. Most of 
us have been wet to the skin night and day for several days. 
Our worry is to keep our powder dry, for our lives we are ordered 
to do this. We like the wet better than breathing the thick dust 
that fills the air from the tramp of so many thousand feet. 
W^e don't fear any sudden attack from the rebel's general Hood 

The Letters of Chauncey H, Cooke 


or Polk en masse, but the bodies of rebel cavalry are hovering 
round ready to pounce on our provision trains and on their 
guards any hour of the day or night. This compels us to be 
always on the move, changing our position. Yesterday a re- 
connoitering force of the enemy, supported by a battery of 
artillery came out on a hill a mile and a quarter distant and 
opened fire upon our lines just in our front. For some moments 
the sputtering musketry and bursting shells sounded like a 
general engagement. But soon, to our delight. Leather Breeches, 
with his war dogs and their cassions drawn by 128 big horses, 
galloped into position just behind us and with eight big guns 
opened fire with their ear splitting roar on the rebel battery. 
It seemed nip and tuck to us fellows, who were waiting with our 
muskets, as to which would quit first in this duel of big guns. 
The rebels had fewer cannon, but they were fighting, as their 
smart leaders told them, for their wives and children. A heavy 
rain began falling about this time and the rebel cannon ceased 
firing altogether. As some of the boys say when they run 
against Leather Breeches, they are *'sure up against it." 
The next morning early a body of our cavalry, sent out to re- 
connoitre, surprised a company of them playing cards in a log 
house and captured 40 of them. The boys sent up a wild hurrah 
when they heard of this. We cannot forget the boast of the South 
that it would take four ' ' Yanks ' ' to match one Southerner. And 
do you know, mother, I somehow^ had the feeling that the South 
was more than our match man for man, they did so much 
bragging. But that's their way, besides if they were not fighting 
to keep us away from their homes we could tell better. The 
prisoners we talk with, and we see them every day, say we 
Yankees" are fighting to free the niggers so they can marry 
white women. What miserable stories they tell. 

It is raining today a slow, drizzling rain. Have just come in 
from a two hours' stunt on the trenches. The boys who have 
taken our places are working in a pouring rain and are wot to 
the hide. They are deepening trenches and piling up musket - 
proof breastworks, which as Col. Montgomery says: "We 
may leave the next hour or possibly not for a week." The boys 
make a joke of their digging by saying there is silver in Ciwrgia 



and they are mining for it. And then it is taken as a good sign 
that we are soon to leave entrenchments which it takes a day and 
a night to build. 

I sent you a letter day before yesterday giving an account of 
our late movements, so I am keeping you well posted. 

George Ide, of Mondovi, died yesterday. He had been sick 
but two days. Poor fellow, what will his parents think .^^ Chet 
Ide, his uncle, felt very bad. He had been with the company but 
a short time but the boys will miss him because he was such 
good company. 

A good many of the boys are breaking down for want of 
sleep. The doctors are sending them back by the hundred to 
rest and recruit. 

Am feeling all right. Hope to get a letter tonight 
from home. 

Your son, 


In the Pine Woods, Georgia, 
16th Army Corps, 

June 6th, 1864. 

Dear Parents: I am off duty and have had six hours of 
refreshing nap. Henry Morse has just been to see me and asked 
me to say nothing that will get to his folks about his health. 
He is bad off with bowel trouble, but he doesn't want his people to 
know of it. They have cut our rations in half and every fellow is 
hungry. Every few days our cavalry raiders capture a lot of 
smoked meat and corn pones, and lots of the boys overeat because 
it's good, and they are down sick. Henry is one of them. The 
trouble is, we can't eat here like we can in Wisconsin. If we eat a 
good fill we are off our feed for a day or two. When our rations are 
short the boys go to the Quartermaster 's and, if they have a dime, 
fill up on pie and cake, and it's regular poison to them. I 
dreamed last night about the cheese which you wrote about in 
the letter I got three days ago. Sure, I would like a taste of it, 
but, mother, I wish you would stop making cheese with all 
your other work, it's too much. Mother, I don't remember 
that I helped you very much in such work, but it seems to me if 

The Letters of Chauncey H, Cooke 


I was home again I could help you in so many ways that I never 
thought of before, and I will be home again some day. I am 
sure we soldiers will have good times again to pay for this. This 
war will not last always. Gen. Grant is flaxing them in Virginia, 
and I saw the other day in an Atlanta paper that Gen. Sherman 
could "outflank Hell, ' ' so there is a show that we will outflank 
Hood and get into Atlanta before long. Let not the people of 
the North find fault and wonder why we don't press on faster. 
Great Heavens, think what we have to do. I used to wonder why 
the Potomac army did not move faster. Then I knew nothing of 
marching in armies of one or two hundred thousand men. Let 
people stop and think about these things, then they will be 
more patient. Let me tell you something about it. Sherman 
has five army corps of from 15 to 25 thousand men in each corps. 
Each corps is following in the same direction on parallel roads 
from 3 to 5 miles apart. Each corps means a string of men, 
four abreast, of from eight to ten miles long. There is an army 
of rebels posted on every one of these roads with cannon at every 
crossroad, cavalry dashing in upon our flanks and sharpshooters 
picking our men off at every opening where the pine forest comes 
within a half or quarter of a mile of the road. You can see the time 
we are having. If one of the corps is stopped by trees fallen across 
the road so the cannon or the cavalry cannot pass, couriers are 
sent to stop all the other corps until the way is cleared. All the 
bridges are burned by the retreating rebels and have to be 
rebuilt, which causes a delay. Sometimes we use pontoons, 
boats made of canvas anchored in the rivers with planks stretched 
from one to the other. Where the roads are obstructed they fall 
timber on both sides for miles amd sharpen the limbs so we 
can't get thru. A dozen times every day we come to a halt, 
for what we don 't know. It's a safe guess that it's a broken wagon 
axle, a crippled cannon or a played-out cassion truck. No 
questions are asked. We are only too glad to fall down on our 
faces and snatch a few minutes sleep. There are more delays 
from ammunition and **sow belly" wagons breaking down 
than from any other one cause. Then the guerrillas are forever 
attacking our rear guard, and sometimes bodies of men and 
batteries have to be sent back to help them out. All tin's niejins 
a delay. 



Sister Dora wrote that father expected to buy a couple of 
cows of Mr. Harvey. I think it a good deal as I shall want a 
lot of milk, butter and cheese when I come home, if I do, this 
winter. Every body thinks the rebellion on its last legs, and that 
means the end of it when we get into its strongest and last 
defense, Atlanta. 

An orderly has just ridden up to the Brigade Headquarters and, 
as it may mean something serious, will close for this time. 
Please send stamps in your next. Your son, 


25th Wis. Vol. Inft., 16th Army Corps, 
4th Division, June 11th to 14th. 

Dear Mother: I am no baby but your letters bring tears 
to my eyes sometimes. You tell me of so many things about 
home and what you are doing, what Elder Morse and the neigh- 
bors at Gilmanton are saying, and about the cows, the pigs and 
the chickens that I can see them almost as well as though I was 
there. It is the same old story here. All of the past four days 
have found us on the line of battle with skirmishers close in front 
popping away at each other night and day, never stopping for 
the awful rain that has been falling day and night for two weeks. 
For days, especially, it has been a steady down-pour of cold rain. 
We have no tents that will turn anything but dew, and every- 
thing that we have, but our powder, is soaking wet. We are in 
a great flat fiild and all about us is flooded with water. We have 
to lay on raes and brush and logs to keep off the wet ground. 
The rebels arle posted on a hill or mountain four miles in front of 
us. Their signal flags, with which they talk from one army head- 
quarters to another, are plainly seen by us thru the day though we 
don't read their signals. By night on the distant mountain- 
tops they build fires by which they talk to each other. 

Our corps, that is the 16th corps, is about the center of the 
advancing column, which means a strip of country about 30 
miles wide. We are on a railroad running direct to Marietta 
some 8 miles out. Gen. Hooker is on the right flank and Thomas 
on the left, and both are closing in toward the center. Kenesaw 
Mountain fortified with a hundred cannon and looming down 

The Letters of Chauncey H, Cooke 


upon us stands between us and Marietta. We are so close to 
Kenesaw on our front that they cannot depress their cannon 
so as to drop their shells into our ranks. They are trying it 
with all their might. I am sure there are thousands of boys 
like myself, half asleep and half awake, who are taking their 
chance of being blown to pieces. The fellows who are well are 
passing the time away playing cards in the ditches behind trenches. 
Now and then a bursting shell spoils the game, mixes the count, 
and starts a row. By and by peace is declared and the game - 
goes on. 

It's a strange life we are leading. While it rains most of the 
time, there comes a day of sunshine so fearfully hot we keep 
moving our blankets to keep *n the shade of the trees. With the 
naked eye we are so close to the rebel lines on the top of the 
mountain that we can see them moving about. We are too far to 
use our muskets and they are too high to use their cannon on us. 
Once in a while a shell drops amongst us and then every fellow 
playing cards or taking a nap gets a move on himself. We don 't 
mind the musket shots ripping thru the tree tops and killing a 
man now and then, but those shells, when they strike, dig a 
hole big enough for a cellar and they make the dirt fly. When 
they fly over your head they make a scream that is terrible 
to hear. 

There was a bunch of us called for a drink the other day at 
a house where an old lady met us. She looked cross enough 
when some of the boys sat in her easy chairs. She said we would 
get a good licking if we ever met the rebel Gen. Johnston. One 
of the boys asked her why he did not whale us at Dal ton, or 
Tunnel Hill or Resaca. * ' He would, ' ' she said, * * if Gen. Sherman 
and another regiment hadn't outflanked him." There is a fear- 
ful roar of cannon on our left at this minute. It must come 
from our side. I don't understand it because we are at the 
extreme left of the line of fortifications on Kenesaw. Thank 
heaven the rebels are not in it with us when it comes to cannon. 
We have the big guns anil can liannner down their lines of de- 
fense, and we need them because it's one line of defense nftrr 



But enough for this time. No letter for some days. Dan 
Hadley is calHng for coffee, but I don't care for any. Have 
been a bit off my feed for some days. The war will be over 
some day. Goodbye. 

Your son, 


Camp Near Acworth, Ga. 
16th Army Corps. June 19th, 1864. 
Dear Father: I am writing some of you nearly every day. 
I don't exactly know why either. One thing that set me to 
thinking of home was when Henry Morse came and bid me good- 
bye. He had been ordered to report to the field hospital. Henry 
was feeling bad and he looked bad. Say as little about it as you 
can to his folks. Henry was never tough, he had no endurance. 
I was sorry to see him go because I don't believe I shall ever see 
him again. 2 

I have something else to tell you. Yesterday was a mighty 
eventful day to our brigade. In the morning orders came for 
three companies of each regiment to get in position and be pre- 
pared to charge the rebel lines on the farther side of the plantation 
bounded on that side as on ours by a heavy forest. In a short time 
fifteen companies of our brigade were in line, and under cover of 
a bit of rising ground we advanced to within sixty rods of the 
rebel earthworks and took a parallel position to them along a 
washout or gully with a big peach orchard between us and the 
rebel lines. Here we waited for nearly an hour while sharp- 
shooters in the treetops beyond the peach orchard kept picking 
off our men. Our orders were to save our ammunition and not 
to fire a shot. Then came the command to fix bayonets and charge 
the rebel lines. Then we climbed out of our ditch and made a 
wild rush for the rebel lines. The air was alive with whizzing 
bullets and the wild shooting of the enemy tore up the sand and 
filled our eyes with dirt. We reached the rebel lines without 
firing a shot, and strange enough we lost but a few men killed and 
wounded on our side. The retreat of the rebels was complete. 

Henry never returned to the regiment. He died in a field hospital and was buried 
in a plain board box under the solemn pine trees in whose branches every south wind chants 
a sad requiem above his f?rave. 

The Letters of Chauncey H, Cooke 


Soon after our occupation of the rebel lines, some darkies who 
had deserted the rebel army came to us and told us how the 
rebel General Polk had been killed in a log house near our lines. 
They pointed out the holes made by the twelve-pound shot of 
our cannon and showed us the blood stains on the logs of the 

We can see Kenesaw Mountain in the distance and the 
rumor is that the rebel army will make a big fight at that point. 
There is a railroad passing near us that runs into Marietta 
just beyond Kenesaw Mountain and for some reason Gen. 
Sherman keeps an engine armored with steel plates running back 
and forth as near the mountain as he dare. I wouldn't like 
to be the engineer. 

As I write I can hear cannons eight or ten miles on our right 
and the boys say it's Leather Breeches." They know him by 
the rattle of his cannon. We had not been an hour in our new 
camp before we were under marching orders for Kenesaw 
Mountain. * * * 

Will write again soon. 

Your son, 


Hd. Quarters, 25th Wis. Vol. Camp, 
Near Kenesaw Mountain, Ga. 

June 24th, 1864. 
Dear Parents : Had just nicely finished my notes for yester- 
day in my diary when we were ordered to fall in for picket duty 
on the skirmish line. There was no hesitation on the part of any 
of the boys. They knew well enough what it meant. It was just 
as if the southern army was invading Buffalo county, not a man 
of them knowing a foot of the country, yet they were expected by 
their officers to hold their own against tlie native inhabitants, 
who knew every road and bypath and hill and valley. 1 he 
rebels had their lines already made. Under cover of the night 
our lines were pushed close to theirs. We made a bargain with 
them that we would not fire on them if they would not fin^ on \is, 
and they were as good as their word. It seems too bad that we 
have to fight men that we like. Now these southern soldiers 
seem just like our own boys, only they are on the other side. 



They talk about their people at home, their mothers and fathers 
and their sweethearts just as we do among ourselves. Both sides 
did a lot of talking back and forth, but there was no shooting 
until I came off duty in the morning. The next relief that went 
on kept up a constant fire all day long. It rained so hard all 
the forenoon the boys were in the water over their shoe tops 
in the trenches. This is just about the 99th time it has rained 
since this campaign commenced, and it's no drizzle drozzle 
like we have in Wisconsin, but a regular downpour. 

June 25th. When the pickets came off the line this morning 
they had quite a pretty story to tell of how they chummed it with 
some Louisiana rebs. A company of our Indiana boys met a com- 
pany of Louisiana rebels half way between the two lines. They 
stacked arms, shook hands, exchanged papers, swapped tobacco, 
told each other a lot of things about their feelings and how they 
wished the war would end so they might go back to their homes 
and be good friends again, shook hands once more with tears 
in their eyes as they bid each other goodbye forever, and after 
calling to each other to be sure that both sides were ready, 
commenced a furious fire on each other. 

Again the report of Gen. Polk's death is confirmed. He was 
cut in two by a cannon shot not 50 rods from where we charged 
the rebel lines at Big Shanty. The death of Gen. Polk means that 
the rebel army is now in command of Gen. Hardee. This means 
more fighting. Hardee is a hot head and will force the fighting. 

The valley between us and Kenesaw Mountain is full of 
smoke from cannon that have been vomiting their awful fire all 
day long. We are so close under the mountain they do us very 
little damage. Our batteries, just in our rear, have been paying 
them back with interest. 

An order has just come that some twenty of our company are 
to go on picket duty tonight, and I am in that list. I had just 
put aside my note book when the captain called to me and said 
I would be excused. I hate to own it but I am very close to 
the sick list. I am not scared a bit, I am sure I shall be all right 
soon. * * * 

Your boy, 


The Letters of Chauncey H, Cooke 


Head Quarters, 2nd Brigade, 
16th Army Corps, Near Kenesaw Mountain, 
Georgia, July 4th, 1864. 

Dear Folks at Home: Many things have happened in this 
war cursed land since my last letter to you. Only the next day 
after my last letter of June 28th the rebel army under Gen. 
Hardee made a fierce attack on our lines on the right. It was 
unexpected by us. The day had been fearfully hot when just 
before sunset, when the big guns had stopped their terrible, 
booming, all at once there came up from the right wing a spiteful 
burst of musketry. It started not a mile from our front and kept 
getting heavier as it sounded farther away. We had just finished 
supper, and many of the boys had commenced their card games. 
Then the boys began to yell, That's Hardee, the fighting rebel 
general. ' ' The card games stopped and every man was listening. 
The musketry grew louder until it was one continuous roar. 
While we were wondering and listening, suddenly couriers from 
division and corps headquarters mounted on foaming horses came 
galloping by, carrying orders to brigade and regimental com- 
manders. Then from the left to the right came the rush of 
cavalry regiments pell mell, many of the boys without their hats 
or caps, trying to keep up. Then came the word that the fighting 
Gen. Hardee, with a picked army was assaulting our lines on the 
right. While we were rapidly forming in rank, leaving every- 
thing but our guns and ammunition, battery after battery came 
pounding by, the drivers on the lead near horse of every pair 
whipping with all his might. For nearly an hour we waited and 
listened to the swelling and receding roar of musketry. There 
was little or no report of cannon. Both sides were afraid tliat 
they might kill their own men. In the course of an hour, as twi- 
light came on, the roar of musketry grew gradually less and finally 
ceased. The next morning we learned that the rebel general 
Hardee had been fairly whipped and beside losing nearly two 
thousand men in killed and wounded, our side captured nearly 
a thousand prisoners. 

We are under marching orders to start at any minute. Like 
myself many boys around me are writing ]HMha])s the last 
message to father or mother or sweetheart. It's a fearful strain 



to live such a life and yet the fear of bullets don't bother me 
half as much as the fear of disease. But strange to think, soldiers 
never think of dying of disease. Just the same not ten minutes 
passes during our long encampments, but we hear the muffled 
funeral drum and the blank musket discharges, above some 
soldier 's grave, who died a victim of southern fever. I must close. 
Hardee has been thrashed and the orders are that we are to 
move to the right. The big black cannon on Kenesaw in front of 
us are strangely silent. It looks as if the rebel army had retreated. 
Gen. Sherman has outflanked them again. Good bye. 

Your son, 

Head Quarters, 2nd Brigade. 
In Ten Miles of Atlanta, 25th Regt., Wisconsin Vol. 

July 8th, 1864. 

Dear Father: I have just finished a breakfast of sowbelly, 
hard-tack and black coffee, yes, and blackberries, all the time 
waiting and expecting to hear the bugle call to fall in and march to 
the support of our boys on the extreme right, where the incessant 
boom of cannon tells us there is a fight on to the death. 

We have been hearing for days that the rebs are concen- 
trating their forces at Nickajack, a creek on our extreme 
right, where they are planning to make a big fight against 
Sherman's forces. 

I don't know what to say about the way we passed the 4th 
of July in Georgia. I put in a part of the time reading your 
old letters, and dreaming in a way of home. Rumors a plenty 
for two or three days had been talked that Sherman had out- 
flanked Hardee and would soon move the entire army upon 
Atlanta 20 miles to the south. 

On the evening of the 2nd of July there came an order to be in 
readiness to march at a moment's notice. We packed up all our 
belongings, tents and all else, and sat around or lay upon the 
ground expecting every moment to be ordered into ranks. For the 
rest of the night we lay upon our faces and slept. Many times the 
rattling of the sabers of passing cavalry or the rumbling of 
artillery with their heavy guns would awaken me. We knew from 

The Letters of Chauncey H, Cooke 


this that there was a general movement of Sherman's army to 
the right. Early on the morning of the 3rd of July we became 
aware from the unusual silence of the rebel guns on Kenesaw, 
that something new was in the wind. Very soon word was 
passed along the line that the rebel army had fallen back and 
was retreating toward Atlanta. Our Gen. Logan with his 15th 
Corps, who had been on the alert for just this move, made a 
sudden dash upon the rebels' retreating lines and captured 
3,000 prisoners. 

On the evening of the third our Brigade, after advancing 
some miles on the right in the direction of heavy cannonading, 
went into camp for the night not far in the rear of the battle line, 
the smoke filling the valley like a fog. 

On the morning of the 4th of July, after drawing our al- 
lotment of rations of hard-tack, sowbelly and coffee our regiment 
marched out to the front to the support of a battery of four 
pieces that were tossing shell into the woods just in front of us. 
Very soon the order came to erect temporary breastworks of 
rails and logs along the edge of the woods, where we stood to 
shield us from the bullets that kept us dodging behind trees. Here 
we were ordered to lie down, if need be, to keep out of the way of 
the bullets aimed at the boys on the front line some 40 rods in 
our front. It was terrible to be sitting and lying down out of the 
way of the bullets with no chance to shoot back, and we knew 
that the boys in front of us were being mowed down like grass. 
We could see the wounded being carried back on stretchers and 
we knew that the dead were left where they fell. While the roar 
of musketry went on in our front we lay flat on our bellies 
while we munched our hard-tack and ate our raw pork, and 
expecting every minute an order to advance. Suddenly tlio 
firing almost ceased, then it burst out again with terrific fury. 
Then followed a lull in the firing and a moment after there came 
a mighty shout and we knew the rebels were wliippod. I don't 
know if we had any orders to advance, but the boys all jum]HMl 
to their feet and rushed over to the firing line. It was some- 
thing to see the dead and wounded. Many of the boys wore 
crying like children, running back and forth without hats or 
guns and cursing the rebels for killing their comrades. The whole 



Sivmy seemed to be turned into a mob. I never saw such a mixup. 
If the rebels had known it they could have slaughtered us like 
sheep. No time to say more. Love to all 

Your son, 

Camp Near Rossville, Ga., 
Head Quarters, 25th Regiment, Wisconsin Vol., 

July 13th 1864. 

Dear Folks at Home: I enclose a lot of leaves torn from 
my water soaked diary, written morning, noon and night, just 
as I happened to have time. The pencil marks spread out so much 
on the damp paper you can 't make it all out. 

July 9th — After the rebel army retreated last night, and we 
got into their trenches, we found that they had suffered a bigger 
loss than our side. Blood stains along the breastworks, the barked 
trees and plowed earthworks showed the work of the grape 
and cannister of our batteries, and the knapsacks and guns 
that were picked up told the story of their loss. They did not 
have time to carry away all their dead. I stood guard last 
night for two hours under the shadow of a big tree within 20 
feet of a fine looking fellow. He lay stretched out on his back, 
both arms extending straight out from his body. He was killed 
by a bayonet or minnie ball thrust thru his heart. His comrades 
had torn his vest and shirt front open to hunt for the fatal 
wound. The bars on his sleeve showed that he was a sergeant. 
His face with the moon shining on it had a ghastly look. A 
Missouri boy, who stood next to me, took the flap of his coat, 
after pulling it out from under him, and covered his face. 

The Colonel has just called the captains to his tent and of 
course it means a move. An orderly from brigade or division 
commander has just handed a bit of paper to the Colonel. 

July 10th — 12 o'clock noon. We have marched 7 miles 
this forenoon toward the left wing. Fearful hot and in a cloud 
of dust that near strangles one. Just as I am writing, far as I 
can see up and down the road, thousands of men are lying flat 
on their faces in fence corners under the shade of trees, around 
buildings and in orchards; some sleeping, all resting or trying to 
rest. The road is cleared for passing batteries or cavalry. 

The Letters of Chauncey H, Cooke 


Just as the bugle blew for the noon halt I went to a near 
plantation for water or milk. There were a lot of women and 
children, but no men, save one very old man. The women all 
seemed to have babies. I suppose their men were in the rebel 
army. The manners of the boys were a little rough and some 
of the women looked scared. They threw themselves down on 
the big broad porch and talked as if they meant to camp for the 
night. When some of the fellows came to the door as if to go in, 
a youngish black-eyed girl took a stand square in the door, 
way. Her black eyes looked so hard that Ed. Coleman said 
he dodged every time she looked at him. One of the boys asked 
about the road to Marietta. She said it was 9 miles. She 
had *'hearn tell 'twas a good road but she had never been 
there," though she was born in that neighborhood. Just to 
be sajang something the boys asked a lot of questions about the 
rebel army. She said we would find out all about it 'fore we 
got across the Chatahooche river. 

July 11th — Yesterday afternoon our march to Marietta 
was a fearful hot one. Many of the boys were sun struck and were 
picked up by the ambulances. Soon as we got in town all made 
a rush that could, to the bakeries, and bought everything in 
sight. This morning a lot of the fellows have got the Kentucky 
quickstep to pay for it. Marietta has been a nice town, but 
is all torn to pieces by the rebel army quartered here during 
the siege of Kenesaw Mountain, only three miles away. No- 
body in sight but women and children and they keep in hiding 
most of the time. The boys are packing for another hot day 's 
march. Love to all. 

Your son, 

Field Hospital 16th Corps, 
Marietta, Ga. 

Aug. 4th, 1864. 
Dear Father: Your awful good wise letter at hand, and one 
from Dora received today. I am writing this to you and Dora 
both. I am so glad things are all right in my dear old Wisconsin 
home. Oh, if you could but see the world as it is going on about 
us here, how thankful you would be. 



This pretty little village and all the country round about 
has been overrun by both the Rebel and the Union armies. 
Only the old men and children and the women are left of the 
people who live here. All the public buildings have been turned 
into hospitals for our sick amd wounded and some of the fields 
nearby are covered with tents which are fast filling up. 

I am glad you are done with your harvest. Talk about 
soldiers being heroes. If all mothers of soldiers have done as much 
work in the harvest field as you say mother has done then the 
mothers are deserving of more praise than the sons. I wish she 
would not work so hard. She worries so much about me and never 
thinks of herself. If mother wants to save me from shedding 
tears she must save herself more. 

I am glad you saved the puppy from poison of the rattle 
snake. It is a wonder as you say that little Eva has not been 
bitten. You can 't be too careful. Yes tell Dora I would like well 
enough if I could be there to help eat sweet corn and speckled 
trout, and seems I can almost taste them away down here. 
It is pretty tough, but if our patience holds out we shall see 
better days when this campaign ends. If we can take Atlanta, 
which is 20 miles from here, now the strongest fortified city in 
the south, we can march to the sea, awd then goodbye to the 

Shall I tell you what is going on at the front, and in hearing 
distance of six or seven thousand poor devils like myself mostly 
on their backs, and listening to the boom upon boom of cannon 
and wondering if it may mean victory or a defeat for Sherman? 

Last night I heard such news that I could not sleep, and with 
the flap of my tent thrown back so my three companions who lay 
near me could see we watched the flashes of light from our 
besieging cannon around Atlanta that lit up the darkened sky 
until after midnight before we went to sleep. 

The news that came to me last night made me shed bitter 
tears. My chum and my next roll companion, and always my next 
beat comrade, both on picket and guard duty, was killed in the 
fight at Decatur. He was shot and killed instantly by a volley 
of rebel shots from the far side of the street during the surprise 
and retreat of our forces, near where McPherson our best 
general was killed. 

The Letters of Chauncey H. Cooke 95 

John was one of the best and bravest boys that ever lived. 
I thought that I had inherited your courage, father, all that any 
man should have, not to be foolhardy, but John Christian went 
beyond me. I wrote to you of his daring at Kenesaw Mountain. 
Poor fellow he did not need to die there, he might have retreated, 
but he would not and a minnie ball went rushing thru his brain. 

The fighting around Atlanta, if we can believe unofficial 
reports, is of the fiercest kind. And it seems my regiment is 
in the midst of it rough and tumble. Today we are getting re- . 
ports of heavy losses. Our Colonel was badly wounded and 
Lieutenant Colonel taken prisoner. We hear that Colonel Rusk 
killed two of his captors before surrendering. Several other 
officers of the 25th were killed and made prisoners, so the report 
is, but there is nothing as yet official. It seems our brigade 
repulsed every rebel charge. Our batteries were taken and 
again retaken. The rebel soldiers it seems were crazed with 
gunpowder and whiskey given them to make them brave. They 
drew their caps down over their eyes and rushed upon our 
batteries to be mowed down with grape and cannister. The 
rebels were simply crazed. The rebel General Hardee was 
wounded and taken prisoner and died in our hospital. 

Our splendid Gen. McPherson was killed by a scouting 
party of rebels, his body taken, and later taken by our boys. 
I hope what is left of our corps after this fight may be sent back 
to the Mississippi River, and join the main body, as only two 
divisions of our corps are here, and they are getting whittled 
down to brigades. * * * 

Word has just come that our boys are being driven back 
from their lines round Atlanta. Nobody believes it. 

No more this time. Kiss my dear mother for her boy. 


Marietta, Georgia, 4th Div. Hos. 

August 20th, 1S(>4. 

Dear Ones at Home: I have been waiting all this time iov 
something to write about — that is something new to write about. 
I could tell you of the red sky over Atlanta every night which 
we boys look at until we fall asleep. It is the light from burning 
buildings, set on fire by our cannon. 



And the rainbow streams of fire that follow the shells from 
forty or fifty big mortars — night after night, it 's the same thing. 
They say that most of the city is burned and the people are 
living in holes in the ground. 

We hear every day that the city is about to surrender. The 
city is still publishing its newspapers and making brags about 
how they are going to trap the Yankees. We don't know how 
they do it but we find papers from Atlanta laying around 
every morning. 

I went out on the picket line yesterday to get some berries 
of the freed-men who come as far as the guards and sell their 
garden stuffs to the Union soldiers. They are stopped from 
coming within the lines. The negroes are grinning and happy, 
but the whites who are all women are a sorry looking lot. They 
have lost all they had and they never had any slaves. 

In their heart they hate the Yankee soldiers and they don't 
know why either. The most they can say when you ask them 
why their men are fighting the north is that Lincoln wants 
them to marry the niggers when they are set free. 

Most of the whites are just as ignorant as the slaves. You 
shut your eyes and you cannot tell by their talk which are 
the blacks. 

I have not seen a schoolhouse outside the towns in all the 
South. The women we have seen in the towns seem to know 
more. The good widow who has been giving the Iowa boy 
and myself dinners twice a week is a wise woman and a good one. 
Of course her heart is with the South but she is so good to us I 
never think of her being a rebel. My Iowa chum, Geo. Benning, 
won 't go with me any more for dinner, because he says he is so 
sorry for the woman when she cries as she does when she speaks 
of her daughter going away with the rebel Lieutenant. 

I am writing this by lamp light. Most of my chums are 
asleep and snoring. The sky is very red over Atlanta 20 miles 
away, with burning buildings and the big mortars, when a lot 
of them go off together, make the ground tremble. 

Give my regards to Uncle Ed. Cartwright, and love to all 
at home. 

Your boy, 

The Letters of Chauncey H. Cooke 


Marietta, Georgia, 4th Div. Hos, 
September 10th, 1864. 

Dear Sister : Your thrice welcome letter, so long looked for 
came last night, and the promised $2 came in it. I was really 
needing the money for little wants. When you oflPer these 
Georgians their money they smile sadly and shake their head. 
Now that Atlanta has fallen into our hands they feel that the 
South will be whipped and their money will be worthless. 

Your letter had a lot of good news and I went over to read 
it to my foster mother, that is the woman who has given me so 
many good meals. She sat in a big arm chair on the broad 
porch knitting some stockings. I sat down on the steps. When I 
looked up after reading the letter she was crying. She said, *'You 
must have a good sister and how good it is that you boys from the 
North can get letters from home while our poor boys cannot 
write letters to their people at home nor receive any." She 
said, have not heard a word from my daughter who went 
to Atlanta with her sweetheart, nor from my husband for two 
months. I don't know if they are living or dead." I suppose there 
are a thousand women in this town who feel just as she does. 
There seem to be three or more in nearly every house. 

I wrote father last week about the surrender of Atlanta. 
Since then we have had further particulars. The night before, 
our shells blew up two of their magazines and set fire to the big 
depot and burned a lot of their cars. For several days before 
the surrender and even now we can see clouds of smoke hanging 
over the city. Nearly the entire place is a burning ruin. 

It is just two years today since our regiment was mustered 
into the service. One more year will let us out and less if the 
talk we hear of the Confederacy having its back broken proves 

Day after tomorrow will be two months I am in this darned 
hospital. Expect to go to my regiment in a few days. A lot 
of the time here I have had the blues and still I am among tJie 
lucky ones to get away at all. On the hill the other side the 
railroad hundreds of poor fellows lie under little mounds newly 
made. They will never answer to bugle call any more and to 
them all troubles in this world are over. 



Don't send any more money as we are soon to draw pay 
and I shall have a sum to send home. Everybody that can is 
is going to Atlanta to see the ruins. 

The natives are in hopes of finding out something about their 
men who were in the rebel army. Some of the women are 
nearly crazy. Everybody rides in box cars or cattle cars. When 
the cars are full they climb on top. 

My stomach is off today on account of eating some sour 
milk. I got it last night of a colored aunty on the picket line. 
This morning it was sour. I scalded it but it upset me. 

A colored woman just came to the tent with my clothes she 
has been washing. She had a two-bushel basket full of clothes 
and carried it on her head. She was a yellow woman and the 
mother of six children. The three oldest, two girls and one boy, 
had been sold to a cotton planter in Alabama. 

One of the boys asked her if she cared and she replied, "Shua 
honey I loves my chilen just likes you mammy loves you." 
I am sure the poor woman's heart was full, for her eyes filled with 
tears. I thank God along with father and Elder Morse that 
Lincoln has made them free. She said her children was nearly 
as white as we, and that three of them had a white father. To 
think that these slave-holders buy and sell each other's bastard 

children is horrible. She took us by the hand and bid each of us 
goodbye and asked God to bless us and our mothers. I see 
and hear things every day that make me think of Uncle Tom's 
Cabin. Word has come that we are to be ready to go to Atlanta 
tomorrow or next day. The boys are making a great hurrah 
about it. 

Direct to 25th regiment Wis. Vol. Atlanta Ga. Goodbye 
dear sister. And as the wretched slave mother said to me, I 
say to you, God bless you and all the rest. 

Your brother, 



The results of the work of the Chicago Convention of 1860 
were undoubtedly more momentous than those of any other presi- 
dential nominating convention in our history. This fact affords 
justification, if any be needed, for printing the two fragments 
which follow. Charles C. Sholes, author of the first, was a promi- 
nent pioneer editor and business man of Wisconsin. His letter, ^ 
taken from the manuscripts in the State Historical Library, is 
chiefly interesting for the revelation it affords of the utter lack of 
realization, by this exceedingly keen-minded and well-informed 
participant, of the disunion and civil war which were to follow in 
the train of the presidential election of 1860. So little, apparently, 
did the impending event cast its shadow before ! 

It is said that but one member of the Chicago convention of 
1860 is still alive. Among the eyewitnesses of the gathering, how- 
ever, was Amherst W. Kellogg, now a citizen of Madison, who has 
been a resident of Wisconsin since 1836. His story of the event 
as retained in his memory, supplements interestingly the contem- 
porary narrative from the inside, written by C. C. Sholes to his 
friend, Senator Doolittle. 

Kenosha, May 21, 1860. 

Hon. J. R. Doolittle 
Dear Sir: 

Your letter of the 10th I found on my table, after my return 
from the National Convention at Chicago. 

The suggestions you make had occurred to my own nu'nd : a nd 
although I felt compelled in Convention, as the representative of 
the sentiment of the people of this Congressional district and the 
State, to vote uniformly with my colleagues for W. H. Seward, I 
confess I had serious misgivings as to the entire safely of making 
this nomination. These misgivings, as the result sJiows. were 
somewhat general: 1 feel that *Vise counsels" did prevail; and 
that the man or men selected as our standard-bearers in the great 
contest now opening, are more sure to lead us on to trium])h. tlian 



Historical Fragment 

any others the Convention could have nominated — "Old Abe" 
will secure us Illinois and Indiana beyond a peradventure, whether 
Douglass is in the field or not — of this, our friends in these two 
States give us the most positive and animating assurances — ^And 
the course of the Pennsylvania delegation in adopting Lincoln, as 
they did almost unanimously after the first ballot, gives indication 
of what may be expected of that great State — so confident and 
enthusiastic, indeed, were the gentlemen composing this delega- 
tion, that after the nomination, they appeared in the Convention, 
bearing aloft, on banners, a pledge of 20,000 majority for the 
favorite son of Illinois. Illinois, Indiana, and Pennsylvania are 
sure — they are doubtful states no longer — But while doubtful States 
are rendered sure, it may be asked are there none of the heretofore 
sure Republican States rendered doubtful. I can fix my eye on 
but one State where a shadow or cloud is likely to appear. The 
battle ground, instead of being the Key Stone State, may he the 
Empire State. And it occurs to me that the Democracy, now 
that the hopes of Douglass are extinguished in the North-west, 
will be forced to pass him by at Baltimore, and take up Seymour, 
with a view of securing New York. This is all, it seems to me, 
that is left for them to do — and (though I am glad to think it a 
forlorn hope) I look for this to be the controlling policy or idea 
of the Democratic Convention in June. If Douglass, when over- 
slaughed at Baltimore, determines to be in the field any way, 
as I trust he will, why all the better. This will be more than an 
ofiFset for all the defection that can be occasioned to our dis- 
advantage by the nomination of Bell, Houston, or any body else 
north or south with a view of catching conservative or American 
votes; and will render our success doubly certain. All the aspects 
are now in our favor : and I can conceive of no plan by which our 
opponents, however wily, can beat us before the people, or 
succeed in throwing the election into the House of Representa- 

The Convention at Chicago was the most magnificent assem- 
blage of men ever before convened on this continent. Called 
together by a common sentiment and object, from every quarter 
of the Union, all animated by motives of patriotism and humanity, 
the highest, holiest, and noblest that can excite and influence 

The Chicago Convention of 1860 lOl 

the human mind, what other than magnificent results may be 
expected to flow from their deliberations and action. And when 
their work was done — their principles proclaimed and their 
standard-bearers acclaimed, — why should not thirty thousand 
"hearts and voices" rush as it were into one, and with a feeling 
and enthusiasm knowing no bounds, pour forth a shout of rati- 
fication, rising above even the thunders of heaven? — a shout 
which will be taken up and echoed and re-echoed throughout 
the free north, inspiriting and strengthening the great Republican 
army, and leading these to a certain and glorious triumph in the 
Presidential contest! As a manifestation of the strength and 
unity of popular sentiment in regard to the pro-slavery policy 
of the present Administration, its corruptions, and the outrages 
upon all righteous principles which have characterized it, this 
Convention was most remarkable. And, unless all signs go for 
nought, we are on the eve of a popular uprising and commotion 
which will gather strength with every succeeding day and week 
till November, when with an almost whirlwind force, the abusers 
of trust in the high places of the land, will be hurled into depths, 
which the hand of resurrection can never sound. I see distinctly 
now a Providence in the election of James Buchanan. It was 
permitted, that the cup of iniquity not then quite full, might be 
filled to overflowing; and that the people not then quite roused 
to a full sense of their wrongs and their danger, might with further 
and more complete manifestations of wickedness, and the nefar- 
ious designs of the Slave Oligarchy, be driven into a revolution 
more searching, and thorough and radical, with more enduring 
and beneficial results. This is my philosophy. And before the 
close of the administration of Abraham Lincoln, we may expect 
to see a movement for a satisfactory solution and settlement of 
the great problem — how Slavery is peacefully and satisfactorily 
to be disposed of. My view on this point accords with yours. 
Your plan is the only practicable one; and I am satisfied, when the 
present crisis is happily passed by the election and inauguration 
of a Republican president and administration, that the public 
mind will settle upon this plan and demand its adojition. It 
will be the grand issue before the lapse of two years. Our next 


Historical Fragments 

President (after Lincoln) will be elected on a colonization plat- 
form; and who our standard-bearer will be to lead us to victory 
on this great issue, it does not need a prophetic ken to determine. 
That Heaven may bless and preserve and strengthen him who 
it now seems to me, is its chosen instrument for this glorious work, 
in its prosecution and consummation, is the fervent desire of 

Yours, very respectfully 

and truly 

C. C. Sholes 

It will gratify me much to have an occasional word from you. 


OF MAY, 1860 

In the spring of 1860 I was secretary of the Northwestern 
Mutual Life Insurance Company of Milwaukee. The president of 
the company was S. S. Daggett, a man seventy years of age and of 
great personal dignity and much ability. Both Mr. Daggett and 
myself, like most Westerners of New England origin, belonged to 
the Republican party and watched the growing forces of Republi- 
canism with eager interest. Four years before, I had voted for 
John C. Fremont; since his defeat the Republican party had 
grown rapidly. Now with a divided Democracy there seemed 
hope that a Republican candidate might be elected. We therefore 
took great interest in the choice of the candidate for the party. 
Mr. Daggett and I favored the nomination of William H. Seward, 
but we were ready to support anyone whom the convention might 

The convention met in Chicago in the middle of May. No 
building was large enough to hold the crowds that flocked there, 
so a temporary board structure was built, named the Wigwam, 
capable of accommodating some ten thousand people; more than 
half of them, however, had only standing room. Mr. Daggett 
proposed to me that we should visit the convention, but when 
we arrived on the morning of the second day we could obtain 
only standing room tickets. I have no clear recollection of the 
occurrences of the morning of our arrival; in the afternoon of the 

The Chicago Convention of 1860 


second day, as I remember, there was a large mass meeting in 
front of the Wigwam which was addressed by WilHam H. Seward. 
Mr. Daggett and I attended this meeting, and from the enthusi- 
asm aroused by Seward we expected as well as hoped that he 
would secure the nomination. 

On the morning of the third day we hurried to the convention 
and were present when the balloting began. The Wigwam was 
packed to its utmost capacity, so that there was hardly room to 
hold the tally sheets that each one wanted to keep for himself as ^ 
the ballots were announced. As the roll of the states was called, 
the chairman of each delegation presented the name of that state's 
candidate, which was hailed with cheers and shouts until a great 
tide of emotion was aroused. When Illinois presented the name 
of Abraham Lincoln I was much surprised at the demonstration 
that occurred; however, when Seward was nominated by New 
York he seemed to awaken even greater enthusiasm. Salmon P. 
Chase was Ohio's favorite son; Edward Bates was Missouri's 
choice; Pennsylvania presented Simon Cameron. On the first 
ballot Seward had more votes then any of the others, but not 
enough for a nomination. Before the second ballot was taken 
Simon Cameron withdrew his name and his votes went to Lin- 
coln, who then almost equaled Seward's vote. With the third 
ballot the excitement grew intense; state after state turned over 
to Lincoln, and he seemed likely to succeed; but we who had 
been keeping tab found as the last vote was cast that he was two 
votes short of the number necessary to nominate. Then just 
before the figures of the ballot were to be announced Cartter of 
the Ohio delegation got the floor and shouted, "Ohio changes 
four votes from Salmon P. Chase to Abraham Lincoln." Witli 
that such a wave of emotion swept over the vast audience as I 
have never seen in all my experience; women threw up their 
parasols and men their hats. Though we were packed in so that 
we could scarcely move, my companion, Mr. Daggett, danced 
up and down like a boy. One man standing beside us down whoso 
face the tears were pouring in streams cried out, *T can't help it ! 
I can't help it! I've been working for him a week and I tlidn't 
really hope for it." Another old man near us began to sliout at 


Historical Fragments 

the top of his voice, "Glory, Glory Hallelujah! Now Lord, 
lettest Thou thy servant depart in peace for mine eyes have seen 
the redemption of Egypt'' (as southern Illinois was then called). 

Meanwhile the chairman of the New York delegation secured 
the eye of the chairman of the convention, George Ashmun of 
Massachusetts, and moved that the vote for Abraham Lincoln 
be made unanimous. With that the enthusiasm broke out afresh 
and continued until the audience was fairly exhausted. 

Mr. Daggett and I returned to Milwaukee enthusiastic for 
the election of Lincoln. As the months went on we were more 
and more convinced that the Chicago convention had been 
guided to the right choice at that crisis in our country's history. 

Amherst W. Kellogg 



The father of forest conservation in Wisconsin was the state's 
first, and in many respects, still, foremost, scholar. Increase Allen 
Lapham. This quiet, modest man, the impress of whose genius 
was indelibly stamped upon the developing institutions of the new 
territory and state, was wholly self-made and largely self-educated. 
Born in New York in 1811, the son of a civil engineer employed in 
canal work, he became, almost in boyhood, an engineer, and 
this profession he followed through life. His avocation, likewise 
from boyhood, was the pursuit of knowledge, particularly along 
the line of the natural sciences. 

The remarkable thing about Increase Lapham was his 
versatility of mind coupled with his ability to perceive, well in 
advance of his age, the scientific and social desires and demands 
of the future. Thus we find him, still a mere youth, almost a 
century ago pointing to the need for a cyclopaedia of American 
agriculture and proposing a well-thought-out scheme for bring- 
ing one into existence. The thing was not accomplished, of 
course, because Lapham was half a century or so in advance of 
his time, and his project evoked, therefore, no response on the 
part of the public he labored to benefit. Again, Lapham 's appre- 
ciation of the scientific and cultural value to society of the 

Increase Allen Lapham 


Indian mounds of Wisconsin, coupled with his perception of the 
fact that with the settlement of the state they would rapidly be 
destroyed, led him seventy years ago to make without any 
compensation (although a poor man) a comprehensive survey 
of the Indian remains of the state. Published by the Smithsonian 
Institution, this survey will forever stand a monument to his 
zeal and scholarship. How far in advance of his age was Lapham 's 
interest in this matter may be most easily indicated, perhaps, by 
calling attention to the fact that the state's most notable Indian 
earthworks, the famous Aztalan mounds, were permitted to 
pass under private ownership and cultivation for want of a paltry 
fifteen or twenty dollars to save them; while today, after three 
generations, the public is belatedly attempting to secure posses- 
sion of what remains intact of these mounds after seventy-five 
years of cultivation as farm land. 

We need not be surprised, therefore, that Increase Lapham, 
modest citizen of Milwaukee, began to agitate for the preservation 
of our forest wealth far in advance of anyone else, and at a time 
when Wisconsin's splendid forests, the beneficent gift of a thou- 
sand years of striving on the part of nature, still stood intact. 
But his voice went unheeded and Wisconsin spent her forest 
wealth like a prodigal son his portion. What should have sufficed 
to accommodate amply the needs of untold generations was 
slaughtered in the short space of two. Now, with our white pine 
and other splendid timber but a memory, our logging industry 
already become a thing of romance and tradition, with the cost 
of building a national menace, and the scarcity of fuel threatening 
at times to involve a national disaster, we are beginning to give 
heed to the considerations so forcibly advanced by Lapham 
three-quarters of a century ago. 

Lapham's first effort to interest the public in forest conserva- 
tion took the form of a contribution to the Transncfionfi of the 
State Agricultural Society in 1855 of a treatise on the forest troths 
of Wisconsin. It consisted of a nine-page argument setting forth 
the desirability of conserving the state's resources in trees, 
followed by a detailed account of the sixty varieties of tnx\s 
indigenous to the state. 


Historical Fragments 


The latter portion of the article need not concern us here; 
the former, although a purely pioneer essay in the field, set forth 
about all the arguments that can today be advanced in favor of 
forest conservation. With prophetic insight it forecast the arrival 
of a time when scarcity of timber would become for Wisconsin 
a serious economic factor. "Though we have at present/' it 
stated, "in almost every part of Wisconsin an abundant supply of 
wood for all our present purposes, the time is not far distant 
when, owing to the increase of population, and the increased 
demands from the neighboring states of Illinois, Iowa, and Minne- 
sota, a scarcity will begin to be felt. This scarcity may be 
considered as already begun in several of the counties along our 
southern border, where there was originally much prairie and 
open land. In these counties, the annual fires having been 
prevented by settlement and occupation, trees are now springing 
up rapidly in all waste places; and in this way nature is already 
making efforts to prevent the disasters we are thoughtlessly 
bringing upon ourselves by the destruction of the forests .... 
But it would be idle for us as a state to rely upon this natural 
restoration of the forests ; we must sooner or later commence the 
cultivation of wood for the purposes of fuel, lumber, timber, etc., 
or suffer very much from the neglect." 

Despite this early, stirring appeal of Dr. Lapham, nothing was 
done by the state in answer to it. The reason for this inaction 
was suggested in the report itself: 'Tt is much to be regretted," 
it states, "that the very superabundance of trees in our state 
should destroy, in some degree, our veneration for them. They 
are looked upon as cumberers of the ground, and the question is 
not how they shall be preserved and beautified, but how they 
shall be destroyed." 

Here, succinctly stated, we have the pioneer attitude toward 
our forests, and until men should come to adopt another point of 
view it was vain to discourse to them upon the folly of destroying 
our trees. A dozen years later, notwithstanding, Lapham re- 
turned to his self-appointed task. As a consequence he was in 
1867 made chairman of a special forestry commission created by 
the legislature of that year. This commission was charged with 

Increase Allen Lapham 


the duty of reporting to the legislature "facts and opinions relat- 
ing to the injurious effects of clearing the land of forests upon the 
climate; the evil consequences to the present and future inhabi- 
tants; the duty of the state in regard to the matter; what experi- 
ments should be made to perfect our knowledge of the growth 
and proper management of forest trees; the best method of 
preventing the evil effects of their destruction; what substitutes 
for wood can be found in the state" — and, generally, such facts 
as might be deemed most useful in connection with the entire , 

The outcome of this legislative action was the production of 
a report of one hundred pages "On the Disastrous Effects of the 
Destruction of Forest Trees, Now Going On So Rapidly in the 
State of Wisconsin." But again, as in 1855, apparently no other 
result than the printing of this report followed. In short, another 
generation of extravagant folly on the part of the people was 
requisite before the voice of a Roosevelt could rouse in them even 
the beginnings of a real appreciation of the situation. By that 
time, however, the forests of Wisconsin were almost gone — 
another case of locking the stable after the equine inhabitant 
thereof had taken its departure. 

We cannot undertake here to review this early report, but a 
few citations from it may be in order. "At the present time," it 
said, "we look over the state and see in the southern most popu- 
lous and least wooded portion, the forests have been destroyed at 
such a rate that they do not yield a supply adequate for the 
wants of the present inhabitants; and the forests of the northern 
regions, heretofore considered the inexhaustible storehouse of 
wood for the adjoining treeless districts, will soon be so reduced 
that the people must look elsewhere for their supplies, unless a 
better policy in regard to them be speedily adopted." Such a 
policy, it was argued, must come into effect as the result of 
governmental action, since individual initiative lacked both the 
pecuniary inducement and the effective power to secure adequate 

Interesting illustrations of the disastrous eff(M'ts of forest 
destruction upon the flow of streams are supj)lied by the Mil- 
waukee River and its tributaries. "Such has been the cliange in 


Historical Fragments 

[its] flow," it is stated, "even while the area from which it receives 
its supply is but partially cleared, that the proprietors of most 
of the mills and factories have found it necessary to resort to the 
use of steam, at a largely increased yearly cost, to supply the 
deficiency of waterpower in the dry season of the year. Until 
this was done many large mills were closed for want of water 
in the latter part of summer and early autumn; while the floods of 
spring are increased until they are sufficient to carry away 
bridges and dams before deemed secure against their ravages. 
The Menomonee River, a small tributary of the Milwaukee, has 
been affected in the same way and to a still greater degree, 
because a larger proportion of the water-supplying area has been 
stripped of its forest trees. Several of the mills that formerly 
found sufficient power upon this stream, have been entirely 
abandoned; others are propelled a large share of the time by 
steam. Down its channel during and immediately following 
heavy rains, great floods sweep along, doing more or less damage; 
followed in a very few days by dry pebbly or muddy banks and 
bed, in which only an occasional pool of water can be found." 

All of the figures of this early forestry report are long since 
out of date; and time has proved erroneous many of the detailed 
calculations employed. Thus, it is argued that wood must 
ever be the reliance of the poor for fuel, since the cost of bringing 
coal three hundred miles or more will be such as to prohibit its 
general use. But whatever these errors of detail may be, the 
outstanding fact remains that to Increase A. Lapham, the state's 
first great scientist, belongs the credit of seeing the need of 
forest conservation a generation in advance of his fellows, and 
of doing his utmost to direct their attention to the problem. 




During the three months' period ending July 10, 1921, there were 
twenty-four additions to the membership roll of the State Historical 
Society. Four of these enrolled as life members, as follows: David 
True Hackett, Palo Alto, California; Irving E. Hinze, Chicago, Illinois^ 
Michael B. Olbrich, Madison; Harry Sauthoff, Madison. 

Seventeen persons became annual members of the Society: Julius 
C. Birge, St. Louis, Missouri; Samuel Bond, Mondovi; George Brown, 
Madison; Carl Chandler, Blanchardville; Dr. W. A. Engsberg, Lake 
Mills; Emma J. Gardner, Milwaukee; William S. Hoffman, Prairie du 
Chien; Joseph C. Johnson, Blair; Arthur P. Kannenberg, Oshkosh; 
James J. McDonald, Madison; Alfred K. Nippert, Cincinnati, Ohio; 
Anita E. North, Hudson; Bernard M. Palmer, Janesville; Mrs. Fred- 
erick H. Remington, Milwaukee; Dr. John W. Schempf, Milwaukee; 
Martha E. Sell, Madison; William W. Sweet, Greencastle, Indiana. 

The high schools at Cambridge, Lancaster, and Wausau enrolled 
as Wisconsin school members. 

J. L. Sturtevant, Wausau, changed from annual to life member- 

A Beloit newspaper preserved in the State Historical Library, 
issued in the month of August, 1862, preserves a report of the death on 
the field of battle of Lieutenant Frank W. Oakley of the Seventh 
Wisconsin Regiment of Volunteer Infantry. But newspaper reports 
sometimes err, particularly in giving news from the field of battle, 
and so, fortunately, this one did. Mr. Oakley survived, to receive his 
honorable discharge at the close of the war, minus one arm and plus 
a commission as major. On June 30, 1921, he terminated almost sixty 
years of service for the national government. For four years he was a 
soldier in the Union army; for several years thereafter, postmaster 
of Beloit. With the organization of the United States District Court 
for Western Wisconsin in 1870, Major Oakley became its first marshal; 
this oflSce he continued to fill, with the single exception of the first Cleve- 
land administration, for over a quarter of a century. Since 1S97 he has 
eflSciently filled the oflSce of clerk of the same court. While acting as 
clerk of the court he was appointed by Judge Bunn receiver for the 
Madison and the Superior street railways, and he served for a time as 
president of the Madison Street Railway. 

For upwards of a third of a century Major Oakley has served as 
curator of the State Historical Society. Of the members now on the 
board, only professors Parkinson and Anderson exceed Major Oakley 
in length of service. 


Survey of Historical Activities 

Miss Emma J. Gardner of Milwaukee calls attention to an errone- 
ous statement contained in Professor Fish's article on "An Historical 
Museum," published in the March, 1921, number of this magazine. 
The statement in question ascribes to Dr. George W. Peckham credit 
for founding the Milwaukee Public Museum. According to C. H. Doer- 
flinger, in an address on "The Genesis and Early History of the Wis- 
consin Natural History Society at Milwaukee,*' read on the occasion 
of the fiftieth anniversary of the society, its founder was Peter Engel- 
mann, a German "Forty-eighter" who became principal of the Mil- 
waukee German-English Academy in 1851. The address shows that 
Dr. Peckham made important scientific contributions to the society. 

In the June number of the magazine mention was made of Michael 
Nippert, a Napoleonic soldier, buried near Baraboo. June 14 the grand- 
son of this man, Judge Alfred K. Nippert of Cincinnati, passed through 
Madison on his way to visit the family homestead. Judge Nippert 
was much interested in the work of the Society; he gave us infor- 
mation concerning four generations of his family. 

Judge Nippert states that his ancestors were originally French 
Huguenots, at home near Lyons. After the revocation of the Edict of 
Nantes, they removed to the neighborhood of Strassburg, where his 
grandfather, Michael, was born. He was enrolled in Napoleon's army 
and marched with him to Moscow. On the terrible retreat from that 
place, which broke Napoleon's power, Nippert and his relative, Michael 
Herschinger, were among the last to cross the bridge near Moscow, just 
as the Russians blew up the structure to prevent the French retreat. 

At the close of his military service Nippert decided to emigrate 
to America; he and his family crossed the ocean in the early twenties, 
went to Pittsburgh, and took the first side-wheel steamboat that went 
down the Ohio River. The first American home of the Nippert family 
was in Monroe County, Ohio, near the present town of Powhattan, 
among the Captina Hills. This was the historic site of the Mingo 
Indians, and of Chief Logan's home. After several years in Ohio the 
Nippert family removed to Freeport, Illinois. Thence they came 
in 1847 by ox team to Sauk County, Wisconsin, and settled just west 
of Rock Hill cemetery opposite the present Sleutz place. The Hersch- 
inger family had preceded them to this place. There the elder Nippert 
and his wife died, and were buried in this cemetery. 

Judge Nippert 's father, Louis, had before this last removal left 
home to enter the ministry of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In 
1850 he was appointed to go to Germany on a mission. Before leaving, 
he visited his father's family in Wisconsin. Judge Nippert has in his 
possession the journal of the journey. The traveler went from Cin- 
cinnati to Sandusky by rail in a wood-burning engine, the journey 
lasting twenty-four hours. From Sandusky he went by boat to Detroit, 
across Michigan by stage, and again by boat to Milwaukee. He left the 
latter place by stage for Janesville and Madison. From the latter 
place he walked to Fort Winnebago, then on to Baraboo along an 
Indian trail. In the autumn he crossed to Germany, where he remained 

The Society and the State 


a faithful missionary during thirty-six years. During our Ci\nl War 
the Reverend Louis Nippert helped to interest Swiss and German 
financiers to purchase United States bonds. He became in time di- 
rector of the Martin Biblical Institute at Frankfort-on-the-Main. 
There Mrs. Abraham Lincoln was for a time a guest. In 1886 the 
Reverend Louis Nippert transferred to the Central German Conference 
in America. He served as pastor of several churches near Cincinnati 
and died in that city August 17, 1894. 

Several of his brothers served in Wisconsin regiments during the 
Civil War. Henry was a member of the First Wisconsin Cavalry. 
Philip Nippert enlisted May 10, 1861, in the Sixth Infantry, part^ 
of the Iron Brigade. He was severely wounded at Gainesville and left 
for dead upon the field. Having been rescued by the burial squad, 
he was taken to a hospital, recovered, rejoined his regiment, and served 
until he was mustered out July 15, 1864. Later Philip Nippert re- 
moved to Kansas as a homesteader; he died in 1906, during the G. A. R. 
encampment at Minneapolis. 

The fourth generation of the Nippert family served in the World 
War. Judge Nippert 's eldest son, James, was in 1917 one of the young- 
est commissioned officers of the American Expeditionary Forces. 

The surrender of the Winnebago chief Red Bird at the Fox-W^is- 
consin portage in 1827 has been termed by a well-known historian 
"the most dramatic scene in early Wisconsin history." This remarkable 
episode has been made the theme of a musical drama by a Racine 
teacher. Miss Pearl Richards. "Red Bird" was produced in that city 
April 15, by a cast of amateurs, and attained a deserved success. 
For the musical numbers the works of Charles W. Cadman, Thurlow 
Lieurance, and Amy Woodforde-Finden, noted students of Indian 
music, were utilized. The rollicking soldier song "Benny Havens Oh" 
was introduced with much effect. By the cooperation of the Wisconsin 
Traveling Library and Study Club information concerning the origin 
of this song was obtained from the librarian at West Point. 

The drama is written in blank verse, partly in the Jliairaiha 
meter, traditionally considered suitable for Indian subjects. The play 
itself is worked out on traditional lines, such as those of Cooper and 
Longfellow, and is less true to aboriginal psychology than Leonard's 
Glory of the Morning. Nevertheless, Miss Richard's work is to l>e 
commended for its fidelity to the historic background, for many lines 
of strong dramatic expression, and for the utilization of a story that 
is of especial interest to lovers of Wisconsin history. The setting of the 
first three acts is the old Dekorra village west of Baraboo. The scones 
vividly portray the Indian standards of honor and of courage, according 
to which Red Bird, always the friend of the whites, was bound in honor 
to avenge the death of his kindred by massacring a family of white 
people. Then when he finds he has been deceivocl— that his l>ro(hors 
still live — that his act of vengeance has aroused the United Stat(v^ army 
to advance against his tribesmen— honor again compels hun to l>e 
the savior of his people by offering his own life in atonement. 


Survey of Historical Activities 

The fourth scene presents the historic act of surrender at the Portage. 
Miss Richards inadvertently lays the scene at Fort Winnebago, which 
was not built until a year later. She also introduces among her char- 
acters Major David E. Twiggs, who only came in 1828 to build Fort 
Winnebago, and Sutler Henry E. Merrell, whose advent was in 1834. 
Such slight historical anachronisms may be condoned by poetical 
license. It is less excusable, perhaps, to represent the well-known 
Indian trader, **Colonel" Childs, as a regular army officer. The play 
does justice, however, to the noble character of the chief actor and 
is a notable tribute to this son of Wisconsin. 

The Historical Landmarks Committee of the State Historical 
Society unveiled at Blue Mounds on Labor Day a bronze tablet bearing 
the following inscription: "Site of Blue Mounds Fort. Built in May, 
1832, by the miners and settlers of the neighborhood and garrisoned 
by them as volunteer members of General Henry Dodge's Iowa-Michi- 
gan brigade from May 20 to September 20, 1832, during the Black Hawk 
War. This site was donated to the State Historical Society of Wisconsin 
by the heirs of Colonel Ebenezer Brigham, pioneer settler of Blue 
Mounds, who helped build the fort. Dedicated September 5, 1921, by 
the State Historical Society of Wisconsin." 


Mrs. Theodora W. Youmans ("How Wisconsin Women Won the 
Ballot") is a resident of Waukesha and an active worker for the cause 
of civic betterment in Wisconsin. 

William W. Bartlett ("Jean Brunet, Chippewa Valley Pioneer") 
is a resident of Eau Claire and a notable delver in the field of Chippewa 
Valley history. 

M. M. Quaife ("Wisconsin's First Literary Magazine") is the editor 
of the Wisconsin State Historical Society. 

William A. Titus ("Historic Spots in Wisconsin: VII Ceresco, 
A Pioneer Communist Settlement") resides at Fond du Lac. He 
has contributed numerous articles to the columns of this magazine. 


Why We Study History is the suggestive title of a pamphlet pre- 
pared for the University Extension Division by Professor Carl Russell 
Fish. Professor Fish discusses the changed position of the study of 
history both in educational systems and in public opinion. Exaggerated 
emphasis has been placed upon its utilitarian value. It has been sup- 
posed to teach patriotism, but if truthfully presented one must admit 
one's country is not always right; if regarded as a moral subject, what 
seems right does not always triumph. History is the experience of the 

Some Wisconsin Public Documents 


human race; its value to the race is the same as memory to the indi- 
vidual. Its one permanent value lies in the necessity of understanding 
the world we live in. The historical method is the best combination 
of scientific training and everyday utility. It presents the human 
element in environment. *'If we succeed in knowing men of any other 
time or place than our own, we have strengthened our ability to deal 
with life as we see it about us." 

Professor Fish has performed a service in clearing the atmos- 
phere of fictitious values and in estimating the real ^advantages of the 
study of history. 

Hosea W. Rood, patriotic instructor of the G. A. R., has issued 
A Little Flag Book No. 3. This contains an excellent account of the 
war eagle "Old Abe," as told by the person from whom he was pur- 
chased. A young Indian named Chief Sky took from a nest in a pine 
tree in Price County a baby eagle. Coming down the Flambeau, he 
stopped ten miles north of Chippewa Falls and sold his pet to Mrs. 
McCann for a little corn. As the eagle grew in the poultry yard he 
became troublesome and was sold at Eau Claire to Captain John 
E. Perkins, whose company became Company C of the Eighth Wis- 
consin Infantry. At Camp Randall the mascot was named "Old Abe," 
and the regiment became known as the Eagle Regiment. The bird 
was in thirty-eight battles and skirmishes; he knew every man in liis 
own company. His conduct in battle is disputed, but the Confederates 
made several attempts to capture him. After the war he was presented 
to the state and kept in the capitol. He died from the effects of the fire 
of 1881. His body was stuffed and mounted, only to be burned in 
the fire of 1904. 

A Memorial Day Annual has been issued by the State Department 
of Public Instruction each year since 1896, during which time we have 
participated in two wars. Much of the Annual for 1921 is devoted to 
the lessons of the last war. Colonel W. J. Anderson contributes 
"What the World War Revealed," the heroic spirit of service and 
sacrifice which proved superior to all other claims. Dr. Joseph Schafer 
writes on heroism. All heroism is personal; many such acts are not 
recorded because of the modesty of the hero. 

The memorial address on the late Chief Justice Winslow, de- 
livered May 3, 1921, before the supreme court by his former colleague, 
R. D. Marshall, is issued in pamphlet form. Judge Marshall in evalu- 
ating the character of Judge Winslow says, " While approciatini: tlie 
reserve of his station, he was able to maintain it without effort to 
disguise that delightfully humorous, companionable, social side of his 
nature, which made him the peculiarly attractive figure he was." Of 
his work for the state in his great series of interpretative decisions 
Judge Marshall speaks in the highest terms as a conscioutious service 
whose value will increase with time. 


Survey of Historical Activities 

The biennial reports of the several state commissions furnish 
much valuable historical source material. That of the Department of 
Agriculture shows that 52.1 per cent of the staters population is en- 
gaged in this pursuit, with an investment of $3,531,000,000. The 
report shows of what value the department has been in warding off 
losses and in adopting an aggressive policy looking toward complete 
eradication and control of animal and plant diseases. The Immigration 
Bureau also aids prospective settlers. Our crop statistics are the most 
reliable in the Union; the crops of 1919 set the highest record in our 
history. Wisconsin led all states in the production of corn per acre, 
in the amount of clover seed, canning peas, hemp, and cigar tobacco 
raised. It is also first in milk cows and in the number of silos. Four 
thousand more families settled on Wisconsin farms than in any other 
of the North Central states. 

The Civil Service Commission believes that its work tends to 
education for public service and has become a permanent factor for 
good government. 

The Report of the Railroad Commission is surcharged with material 
on interesting community services for the development of public 
utilities, the increasing of property, the care for public safety, the growth 
of water power, and the aid and utility of railroads. 

The importance of our growing industries is emphasized both by 
the Industrial Commission's Report, and by a pamphlet issued by the 
State Board of Education on Technical and Trade Training Through 
the Continuation School. Mr. Fitzpatrick of the latter board gives 
a complete list of the larger industries as furnished the federal govern- 
ment by the War Survey of 1918. This pamphlet is a plea for 
special trade schools for specific industries, such as mining at Platte- 
ville, paper making at Appleton, etc. The Industrial Commission 
now has seven departments dealing with nearly every phase of the 
worker's interests: safety and sanitation, employment, woman and 
child labor, workmen's compensation, mediation and arbitration, 
and apprenticeship. In the latter department it cooperates with the 
State Board of Vocational Education. The history of this latter 
movement is sketched by Edward A. Fitzpatrick in Bulletin No. 4, 
Vol. III. The work begun in 1911 has grown with remarkable celerity, 
and promises to destroy illiteracy in Wisconsin and to furnish our 
adolescents with interest and enthusiasm for their daily work. 

The Report of the Commissioners of State Lands shows that 
leases are being taken of public lands for meadows and pastures and 
on the northern lakes for hunting and fishing lodges. Five hundred 
thousand dollars' worth of the old school certificates has been retired 
and added to the school funds. All this has been reinvested in loans 
to school districts and municipalities; the process is to be continued 
until $1,000,000 has been retired. The commissioners ask for a law 
granting quit claim deeds to the holders of the Fox- Wisconsin In- 
provement lands. 

Some Wisconsin Public Documents 


Agricultural Experiment Station urges the farmers to "Clear 
More Land** in an important pamphlet setting out the methods and 
expenses. In Bulletin No. 323, New Farm Facts, they give the results 
of recent studies on new feeds and new proportions of feed for animals, 
the need of vitamines in human and animal food, etc. 

The Annual Report of the Agricultural Extension Service of the 
University, by Dean H. L. Russell and K. L. Hatch, with the other 
specialists of the department, reviews the agricultural progress of 
Wisconsin for the last thirty years and is a most valuable contribution 
to our recent history. 


VOL. V A) .P^ 




tendent, MILO M. QUAIFE. Editor 



Memories of Early Wisconsin and the Gold 
Mines John B, Parkinson 119 

Documenting Local History. . . . Joseph Schafer 142 

Historic Spots in Wisconsin W. A, Titus 160 

A Treasure Quest 166 

Documents : 

Some War-Time Letters 171 

The Question Box: 

The Meaning of Mondovi; The Landing Place of 
Jean Nicolet; Some Winnebago Chieftains; British 
Officers at Milwaukee; Early Knowledge of the 
Dells of the Wisconsin ; The Origin of Viroqua ; The 
Home of the Inventor of the Self-Knotter; The 
Naming of Neenah; Honest Amasa Cobb 201 

Historical Notes: 

Additions to Historical Society; Kensington Rune- 
stone; Our Contributors 212 

The Society as a body is not responsible for statements or opinions advanced 
in the following pages by contributors 


Paid for out of the George B. Burrows Fund Income 



The Parkinson family is of English origin. My Father's 
grandfather, who was a Virginian, served as a captain in the 
Revolutionary War. The family afterward removed to 
eastern Tennessee, where my Father was born in 1805. 
My Mother's maiden name was Valinda Barber. Her family 
was of Scotch-Irish origin, coming to America from, the 
north of Ireland. Her father, James Barber, was a Cumber- 
land Presbyterian minister. She was born in North Caro- 
lina, but removed with her parents at an early age to south- 
ern Illinois. My Father's parents removed from Tennessee 
to Illinois while he was still a boy, and there Mother and 
Father became acquainted about the year 1817. 

My Father was a farmer by occupation. A relative, 
Colonel D. M. Parkinson, had settled in southern Wisconsin 
in 1827, and he induced my Father to move there in 1836. 
Although I was but two years old I can still remember some 
things about the journey. We came in a covered wagon 
drawn by a span of horses. At night we camped out unless, 
as sometimes happened, we were fortunate enough to find 
a place to lodge. I do not recall these incidents, but I 
remember our arrival at the cabin Colonel Parkinson had 
in readiness for us. Father tried to strike a fire with a flint 
and his powderhorn, but through some miscliance the 
powder exploded, burst the horn, and cut Fatlier's fore- 
head. Not until many years later were friction matches 
used. Fires were struck with flint and a little powder, and 
once started, people took great pains to keep them going. 
Sometimes, when the fire had gone out, coals were borrowed 
from the nearest neighbor. I can recall, when a boy, going 
on such errands. 


John B, Parkinson 

The farm on which my Father settled was near Fayette, 
in Lafayette County. He Hved there until his death, in 
1887. My Mother died in 1845, at the early age of thirty- 
eight. Several years later Father married Margaret McKee. 
Her sister was the mother of the late Bishop Bashford of 
the Methodist Episcopal Church, and of Judge Bashford of 
the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Besides myself my parents 
had one child who died in infancy, and my sister Margaret, 
two years my elder, with whom I grew up. 

Colonel D. M. Parkinson came to Wisconsin in 1827, and 
was here during the Black Hawk War. He had three sons, 
Peter, Nathaniel, and William; Peter was located about 
two miles above the place where Father^ settled. The log 
house into which we moved on coming to Wisconsin had a 
single room, perhaps sixteen by twenty-four feet, which 
served as parlor, kitchen, dining-room, bedroom, and in fact 
for all the needs of the family. Over it was a loft which 
was reached by climbing a ladder. The floor was made of 
puncheons — half-logs laid with the split surface up — and 
there was a huge fireplace. There was but one door, on the 
side of the cabin, and, I think, two windows. Through the 
door Father would roll in backlogs for the fireplace, so 
large that one of them would be two or three days in burning. 
Aside from keeping the house warm, all the family cooking 
was done over the fireplace by my Mother. 

I attended the first school ever taught in the town, 
which was held in this house. Before long Father built a 
new house, and our removal from the old one made it possi- 
ble to equip it with benches for the pupils. My first teacher 
was a man by the name of Trevoy, who later lived in 
Madison. The teachers were usually young men, generally 
from the East, who boarded around in the district, and 
whose pay was subscribed by the parents who sent children 

Professor Parkinson's father was called "Sucker Pete" to distinguish him from his 
kinsman, "Badger Pete." 

Memories of Early Wisconsin and the Gold Mines 121 

to the school. The pupils in this first school were not numer- 
ous, but they ranged in size from small children to grown 
men. One of those who went there with me, Mrs. Horace 
J. Woodworth of Minneapolis, recently died at an ad- 
vanced age. When I was seven years old I went with my 
sister Margaret across the prairie about two and one-half 
miles to school in another log cabin. We went there the 
following summer and winter, also, and had the same 
teacher to whom we had first gone in Father's cabin. My 
third school was in the Bashford home, about a mile from 
our house. My next, which was my last before going to 
Beloit, was in a stone schoolhouse which had now been 
built in the village near our home. 

I worked pretty faithfully on the farm, for a boy. It 
cost less to keep oxen than horses, and Father always kept 
them, as well as cows and horses. Some of his horses were 
rather fast and he was fond of a horse race. I followed the 
plow with a yoke of oxen from the time I was able to hold a 
plow. We had a large pasture, and Father used to turn the 
oxen out to graze with their yokes on. We had a root house 
in the pasture, an excavation in the hillside, which was 
covered with timber and sodded over. One day a yoke of 
oxen which had been turned out to graze disappeared. We 
hunted the surrounding country for ten days, and at last, 
quite by chance, found them in the root house. They had 
stepped up on it to eat the grass growing there, and the 
boards being too weak to support such a weight had broken 
through. There was a pile of old potatoes in the liouse, 
which had supplied food and moisture enough to keep 
them alive during the ten days they were trapped there. 
It used to cost nothing to keep oxen in the summertime, 
and they lived on straw in the winter. 

Threshing at that early day was an interosling process. 
We had a great structure, with a center pole, and an>und t hat , 
making a good, big circuit, we had posts ;ni(l timbiMs run- 


John B. Parkinson 

ning up to the pole, and all covered with straw. Around 
this structure the grain was stacked. At threshing time it 
was thrown into the ring with the heads of the sheaves of 
one row laid against the butt ends of the next row. Then 
a good many young horses were let into the enclosure, and 
a young Indian boy whom Father used to hire for this work 
drove them around the ring. After a little time the horses 
would be turned out and the straw shaken up so as to let 
the grain already threshed fall to the bottom. Then the 
horses would be turned in again and the process repeated 
until the grain was thoroughly threshed out. The grain 
when threshed was raked to the center pole and a new 
supply was brought into the ring for threshing. The final 
process was to fan the grain, thus separating the clean grain 
from the chaff. It took a week or more to thresh in this 
way, and this process was followed for years. I never 
remember threshing grain with flails. One curious fact I 
recall is the natural fear the horses seemed to have for an 
Indian. We never could get them into the ring until the 
Indian boy went out. 

Small grain was cut in those days with the cradle. This 
was skilled work, and an awkward boy could not do it 
well. When I went home from school for summer vacation, 
the next day would find me binding in the harvest field. 
Most of the harvesting was done by men from Illinois who 
would come up into Wisconsin for the harvest season, a 
period of several weeks. Sometimes we had half a dozen 
men cradling, each cradler being followed by a man binding. 
My Mother boarded the men, but they would sleep in the 
barn. My Mother never worked in the field, and I do not 
think women commonly did in those days. They had 
enough to do attending to the housework and cooking for 
the hired help. 

You ask how farmers could make a living with the low 
prices of those days. The answer is that they bought little, 

Memories of Early Wisconsin and the Gold Mines 123 

and the things they produced cost Httle aside from labor. 
Hogs could be raised very cheaply; they could live on acorns 
in summer, without any feeding. They were sold at two or 
three dollars a hundredweight, but corn was raised easily 
and it did not cost much to fatten them. My father used to 
send potatoes to Mineral Point by ox team — twelve miles — 
and sell them for twelve and a half cents a bushel. But we 
could then raise four hundred bushels of potatoes to the 
acre. Wheat usually sold for about fifty cents a bushel. 
My Father would haul wheat to Milwaukee, one hundred 
miles, with four-yoke ox teams, and bring back a load of 
lumber or other goods. It was fully a week's trip with one 
load of wheat at fifty cents a bushel — perhaps a little more 
at times. I think farmers were just about as happy under 
those conditions as they are now. It is true, they worked 
harder. Now men ride, instead of walking, when they plow, 
and machines now do many things then done by hand. 

Our nearest town of any size was Mineral Point. Wiota 
was then a little village in the heart of the mining section. 
It was called Hamilton's Diggings down there. I knew 
William S. Hamilton, the son of Alexander Hamilton, who 
gave the name Wiota" to it. I think this is an Indian 
name, but I do not know its meaning. Mineral Point used 
to be called Shake Rag. It was a mining center in those 
days, and it got this name from the practice at noontime 
of shaking a sheet or other cloth as a signal to the miners to 
come home to dinner. 

The Black Hawk War took place but four years before 
we came to Wisconsin, and there were still many Indians 
in the southern part of the state. Our nearest neiglibors 
when we moved into the log cabin were some Winnebago 
who had their wigwam in a grove belonging to us, ai)out 
half a mile from the house. They had a tent of skins, with 
a small opening at the top and a fire built on thegn>und in the 
center. They stayed through the winter in this tent, living 

124 John B. Parkinson 

chiefly by hunting. The Indian vanished from this section 
with the wild game. The boy whom my Father employed to 
drive the horses in threshing belonged to this group, and 
sometimes Father would get the men to work for him also. 
They could talk English only imperfectly, but we soon 
learned some of their words and we managed to understand 
each other pretty well. They dressed in skins mostly, but 
sometimes in woolen cloth. We always got along well with 
them, but some of the neighbors did not treat them well, 
and after a few years they moved on. They used to visit 
us often, coming frequently to sharpen their knives and 
hatchets on a grindstone Father had brought with him to 
Wisconsin. We children used to be frightened when they 
came on these visits and Father and the hired men were out 
in the field. I think Mother was frightened, too, but if so 
she did not show it. 

The Indians were great beggars. Mother was always 
ready to give them something to eat, and they never stole 
from us. One time Mother had made a nice lot of biscuits 
and had put them in a cupboard, when two Indians came 
along and wanted something to eat. They would always 
take all they could get, so she handed out to them what 
she thought they ought to have. After they were through 
eating, one of them pretended he wanted a drink of water, 
and while at the water-pail he stole the biscuits, hiding 
them in his blanket. Another time a girl about the size of 
my sister came to the house. My sister had on some shoes 
which were worn out at the toes. The next day the Indian 
girl came back and presented her with a pair of beautiful 
moccasins. Mother then made a cake, and we took it 
over to the girl. They made much of our visit to the tent, 
and spread some skins on the ground for us to sit on. 

When I returned home from Beloit for the spring vaca- 
tion in 1852, I found Father outfitting a party to go to 
California. Excitement over the gold mines was running 

Memories of Early Wisconsin and the Gold Mines 125 

high; in every neighborhood men were preparing to cross 
the plains. The party Father was outfitting was to number 
four men; three of these were already chosen, while the 
fourth remained to be found. I was urged to take the place, 
and after some hesitation on my part and more on my 
Father's, I consented, and our party was made up. It con- 
sisted of an Irishman, an Alabamian, a Buckeye, and a 
Badger — a curious combination, although it was but tamely 
illustrative of the motley hordes that were gathering across 
the mountains. 

Father's share in the venture was to supply the outfit, 
for which he was to receive six hundred dollars. Two of the 
party had been employed by Father, and the third was a 
neighbor. The Irishman, Duffy, had a wife and three or 
four children, whom he left in Father's care during his 
absence. The other men were young bachelors. The 
Alabamian proved unfaithful to his agreement, for my 
father never received the one hundred and fifty dollars due 
from him. 

Our equipment consisted of two light covered wagons 
and eight yoke of oxen, or, to be more exact, two yoke of 
oxen and two yoke of cows to each wagon. These animals 
ranged in age from three to six years; most of them had just 
been "sent under the yoke." Thus the very teams we drove 
afforded another illustration of the leveling tendencies of 
these expeditions — no distinction as to age, sex, or "previous 
condition of servitude." 

This yoking of cows into the service was something of an 
experiment at that time. Besides being in greater demaiul at 
the mines, the theory was that cows, being lighter, would 
stand the trip better than oxen.^ Our own experience tondod 
to bear out this theory. The alkali dust, gravelly mountain 
roads, and desert sand were very trying on llio foot. Our 
heavier oxen had all to be shod. The cows wont tlirough 

'Cows were used by Oregon immigrants as early as 1843. — J. S. 


John B, Parkinson 

in good condition without shoeing; the youngest, too, 
seemed to stand the hardships of the journey best. 

The theory that prevailed in 1848-49 in regard to the 
weight and strength of wagons and teams that would 
enable them to stand the journey had been completely 
reversed before we went out. At first the heaviest wagons 
and log-chains, with provisions for a twelvemonth, were 
thought necessary. The result was the teams were worn out 
by the excessive weight they had to drag. A year or two 
later the needed supplies were definitely known; and every- 
thing in the outfit was made as light as possible consistent 
with the strength necessary to stand the wear and tear of 
the journey.^ 

We set out from home May 3, 1852, and crossing the 
Mississippi at Dubuque proceeded across Iowa by way of 
Cedar Rapids and Des Moines. The main part of our sup- 
plies — our flour, bacon, etc. — was taken from home; the 
remainder we laid in at Dubuque. We had expected to 
cross the Missouri where the Mormons had crossed on their 
way to Utah. But there were so many people ahead of 
us waiting to be ferried over the river, that we drove about 
fifteen miles north to another ferry, where we were able to 
get across the river promptly. The Missouri at this latitude 
was then the extreme border of civilization and settlement. 
There were some buildings at Council Bluffs, but not one 
on the present site of Omaha. Nor did we see a single 
permanent habitation from the time we crossed the Missouri 
until we reached the Sacramento, a distance of two thousand 

We entered Nebraska June 1, and camped for the night 
on the Elkhorn River, a small tributary of the Platte. Here 
we found a large camp of Pawnee Indians, as if to introduce 
us at the very start to the denizens of the wild expanse upon 
which we were about to enter, and to warn us to be hence- 

3Cf. Burnett "Letters," Ore. Hist. Soc. Quarterly, III, 418. 

Memories of Early Wisconsin and the Gold Mines 127 

forth literally on our guard. The warning was heeded, for 
not a night passed, from that time on, that a guard was not 
detailed to keep ward and watch over the faithful animals 
that were to carry us through the mountains. 

Our route was along the north side of the main Platte, 
and continued on the same side of the North Fork of the river 
to its great bend near the South Pass — thus following the 
Platte for a distance of seven hundred and fifty miles. 

Owing to the great overland rush in 1852, there was 
much difiiculty in securing feed for the teams. Over a great 
part of the route there were well-marked camping places. 
Even at these places, however, it was often necessary to 
drive the stock back from camp one, two, and even three 
or four miles, to find suitable grazing. Advance, under such 
circumstances, was necessarily slow, from ten to fifteen miles 
a day being a good average. The chief inconvenience up the 
Platte, however, was a scarcity of fuel. Green willows and 
an occasional piece of driftwood were luxuries; for a good 
part of the way the sole reliance was buffalo chips. Here 
was a scene for an artist. — Camping ground reached — teams 
unyoked — and a delegation, self-appointed — five, ten, some- 
times twenty men, each with a bag, hurrying out over the 
little low sand knobs that fringe the Upper Platte Valley, 
picking his way among the bristling cacti and gathering 
buffalo chips for the evening camp fires. 

The region of the Upper Platte was the pasture ground 
and paradise of the buffalo at the time of which I am 
speaking; and yet in the brief space of forty years — thanks 
to the criminal recklessness of sportsmen and the neghgence 
of the government — scarcely one was left upon our territory 
to tell the story of the treatment of his race. 

It was only an occasional straggler from the ranks that 
we chanced to see along the road up the Platte — and tliesc at 
a distance. The main herds kept well back from the river. 
But a rare treat awaited us at the great bend in the Platte 


John B, Parkinson 

River, where, indeed, we parted company with that stream. 
The mountains here hug close to the river, but within the 
bend or angle is a rich little meadow where the herds came 
down at intervals to feed. We had halted here for nooning, 
and were in the midst of lunch when the shout of "Buffa- 
loes!" was raised. As we looked across the river, a herd of 
more than a hundred full-grown fellows was seen coming 
slowly down the mountain toward the meadow. The Platte 
at this point has a swift current. But no matter; it must 
be crossed. A dozen men plunged into it, wading and 
swimming, as necessity demanded, with gun held overhead. 
Several shots were fired, but no game bagged. The herd 
when fired into made for the river, or rather for the moun- 
tain beyond. The very earth seemed to tremble beneath its 
feet. Not the slightest halt was made at the steep river 
bank, but plunging down and crossing the stream, the 
buffaloes made their way up the mountain and were soon 
out of sight. 

We encamped that night a few miles out from the Platte 
on a sort of prairie-like undulating plateau. About daybreak 
next morning one of the night-guard came running into 
camp with the shout that buffaloes were coming right up 
among our cattle and that there was danger of a stampede. 
This at such a time and such a place was a very serious 
matter. A reinforcement was soon on the ground, but the 
buffaloes in the meantime had retired in good order. 

I had a little experience of my own that morning, which 
I will venture to relate. I had wandered off about a mile 
from camp and was taking a little survey of the country 
and wondering whether civilization would ever reach out as 
far as this^ when turning I saw coming around a knoll about 
thirty rods away, and making directly toward me, five full- 
grown mammoth-looking buffalo bulls. My first impulse 
was to make for camp. But second thought was wiser. 
This was a golden opportunity and must not be lost. 

Memories of Early Wisconsin and the Gold Mines 129 

Turning a little to the right and filing along one after 
another, these great bulls came up to within seventy -five 
paces, when they halted, giving me a broadside exposure, 
but at the same time turning full upon me their long-whisk- 
ered, shaggy-browed, sand-matted faces. They were magni- 
ficent looking creatures, in comparison with which, as they 
stood there defiant, upon their native pastures, the wretched 
specimens exhibited in menageries and zoological gardens 
look puny enough. Drawing a bead upon the leader, for- 
tunately for me and unfortunately for the buffalo, my 
rifle "missed fire." That is, it didn't "go off," and neither 
did the buffalo. Picking the flint, or rather, putting on 
another percussion cap, the buffalo ague was given time to 
subside, and the next time I was more successful and 
brought down my game. He was a monster, estimated by 
good judges to weigh two thousand pounds. Another was 
killed the same morning and, selecting the choicest parts, 
we feasted upon "jerked" buffalo meat from that time 
on. Just as we were breaking camp that morning, there 
came in sight about a mile away a herd of at least five 
hundred buffaloes — little, big, old, and young, and their 
bleating and bellowing could be distinctly heard at that 
distance. What an opportunity would this have afforded 
sportsmen, a few years later ! The temptation to tarry even 
at that time was very great, but as the summer was creeping 
by and the trying part of our journey was still before us, 
we were admonished to move on if we hoped to clear the 
Sierras before snowfall. 

Following up the valley of the Sweetwater, a small 
tributary of the Platte, we passed over the backbone of the 
continent at the South Pass in the Rocky Mountains. This 
is one of the easiest passes in the whole chain of these 
mountains. The ascent at the pass is so gradual that one 
hardly realizes that he is scaling a mountain at all. We had 
been climbing and climbing for weeks, and for no little 


John B. Parkinson 

part of that time had been scaHng smaller chains and spurs 
until, even at this low divide, we were nearly eight thousand 
feet above sea level. Here one is literally at the ''parting 
of the waters" and through the clear atmosphere, for a 
distance of a hundred miles east or west, one can trace the 
outlines of the streams as they make their way on the one 
side toward the valley of the Mississippi, and on the other 
to the Columbia and the Colorado. The journey to the 
South Pass was not difficult, but from that on, it was very 
trying to man and beast. There for three or four hundred 
miles the emigrant roads, instead of following the streams 
as heretofore, lay across them. This meant the climbing 
of one mountain after another, with water scarce and feed 

Crossing Green River — the chief tributary of the Colo- 
rado — then bending around Bear River and leaving 
Great Salt Lake and Mormon City to the south, then 
passing through Thousand Spring Valley, we finally reached 
the headwaters of the Humboldt. 

The Indians thus far had given us a wide berth. In fact 
we h^d seen very few since we left the Pawnee camp at the 
Missouri. Occasionally one, more curious than his fellows, 
would come dashing from the hills on his pony, decked out 
in feathers and war paint (that is, the Indian, not the 
pony), as if curious to know when that long procession was 
going to end. The Indians along the Humboldt were known 
to be very treacherous. Accounts of their attacks upon 
emigrants in other years were fresh in our minds. Hence it 
was customary for trains to double-up a little here in self- 
defense. The Humboldt is a small stream in midsummer, 
but is bordered along most of its course with a thick growth 
of willows which afforded excellent hiding places for the 

About twelve o'clock one day, as our train of a dozen 
teams was making its way slowly down this stream, two or 

Memories of Early Wisconsin and the Gold Mines 131 

three gunshots were heard in quick succession just around a 
bend in the road. Suspecting trouble ahead and hurrying on 
as rapidly as possible, we soon came in sight of two teams that 
had halted for their nooning, and a little way from them and 
making off with a wounded companion were eight or ten 
Indians. There were but four persons with these two teams 
— two men and their wives — but they were genuine back- 
woodsmen, women and all, and were armed with trusty rifles 
which they all knew how to use. It was this that made ' 
them a little reckless in their way of traveling. The Indians 
had crept up close to them as they sat at their lunch and 
had fired upon them with a shower of arrows. They had 
been quickly answered with rifle-shots with the result 
already mentioned. Suspecting that the Indians had rein- 
forcements close by, our teams were quickly corralled and 
everything made ready for defense. There were about thirty 
men in our company — all well armed — and perhaps one- 
third that number of women and children. In a short time 
about seventy -five Indians on ponies came in sight and rode 
up within a quarter of a mile of us, circl ng around, first in 
one direction and then in the other, as if careful' y taking 
measure of our strength. This they kept up for more than 
an hour, and then slowly retreated to the mountains. This 
was the closest call to an attack by the Indians that we had 
upon the route. They succeeded afterward, however, in 
spiriting away some of our cattle — once upon the Humboldt 
River and again at the foot of the Sierra Nevadas. 

Leaving the Humboldt about seventy-five miles above 
where it sinks into the sand, we followed the old Lassen 
Trail across the Black Rock Desert, striking the Sierras 
at the head of Honey Lake Valley. Honey Lake is one of 
several little sheets of water that nestle close to the foot of 
the Sierra Nevadas on the eastern side, and which were 
greeted by the thirsty, footsore emigrants like oases in the 
midst of the desert. The Nevadas by this route are not 


John B, Parkinson 

difficult to pass, and they compensate in some measure for 
the weary waste behind by their wealth and majesty of 
forest, and by their buttes and lakelets and their thousand 
unique forms of nature. 

We finally reached and crossed the Sacramento on the 
eleventh of October, having been more than five months 
making the distance now traversed in Pullman cars, with all 
the conveniences and luxuries that modern ingenuity has 
devised, in three or four days. To make such a journey with 
ox teams was trying on soul and body, but it was at that 
time the accepted way and was deemed by far the most 
certain and safe. 

My experience in the mountains and mines of California 
was not essentially different from that of thousands of 
others, and I need not recite it at length. I spent three years 
in the northern mines — the first winter near Shasta City, or 
Reddings Springs, the next summer at the newly-discovered 
mines on the Pitt River, the chief branch of the Sacramento, 
and the remainder of the time in the Siskiyou-Klamath 
region, near Mt. Shasta, and close by the great Lava Beds, 
afterward made famous by the desperate stand of Captain 
Jack and his Modoc bands. The winter of 1852-53 was 
long remembered by Californians on account of its immense 
snowfall in the mountains, and its rains and devastating 
floods in the valleys. The Sacramento reached out to the 
very foothills, and moved with a current that carried every- 
thing before it. The capital city was under water. The 
flocks and herds from the ranches fled to the hills when 
possible, but thousands were swept away by the floods. 
Just one-half of the faithful animals which our own little 
company had so carefully guarded across the plains was 
buried in this sea of waters. All communication with the 
upper mines was cut off. Prices knew no bounds. Flour 
rose to two, three, even five dollars a pound, and soon none 
could be had at any price. Salt was sixteen dollars a pound, 

Memories of Early Wisconsin and the Gold Mines 133 

potatoes twenty-five cents apiece — with little regard to size 
— and other things in proportion. The truth is, men gave 
freely as long as they had anything to give, and then sub- 
mitted as gracefully as possible to the situation. I have a 
very distinct recollection of paying as high as a dollar a 
pound for flour, but being practically a penniless "pilgrim" 
(all newly-arrived immigrants were then called "pilgrims") 
I soon ceased to be a purchaser and settled down to more 
modest rations — baked beans. 

Pack-trains, attempting to cross the mountains, were 
blocked by the snows and in some cases were compelled to 
winter on the spot, subsisting upon their animals until the 
snows melted. I remember passing one of these desolate 
camping grounds, high up on the Trinity Mountains, on the 
Fourth of July, 1853. It was a dreary spot. The drifts 
were not even yet melted away. A rude hut had been con- 
structed out of the scrubby pines that grew even at that 
height, and the bleaching bones of the pack-mules lay 
scattered about it, telling a story of hunger and suffering 
better than words could do. 

Mining on one's own account, whether for gold or for 
silver or what not, is largely a game of chance. As such, it 
has a sort of charm for most men who enter upon it, which 
it is difficult to break. Mining for gold has a peculiar fascina- 
tion. It is like seeking at first hand that which in other 
industries comes through exchange, or it may be a series of 
exchanges. Here we go straight to the treasure vaults. 
"Gold-dust" is money with the miner, and among the "Argo- 
nauts" of '49 and the fifties always passed current with the 
merchant. Money, at best, is only a means to an end, but 
how many fully realize it.^ The notion that it is something 
more — that it is an end in itself — is one of the most difficult 
to eradicate. 

The certainty of reward and the feeling that what one 
earns is his own has a magical effect not only upon his dispo- 


John B, Parkinson 

sition to work, but even upon his powers of endurance. 
Nothing illustrates this better than the cleaning up of the 
''bedrock" of a rich placer claim, where the clear water, as 
it carries the sand and gravel down through "sluice-box" 
and "long-torn," reveals in the bright yellow metal that lags 
behind the exact contribution of every shovelful handled. 
There is no "striking" here, nor eight-hour law demanded. 
Men, under such circumstances, will work knee-deep in 
water and forget they are working at all. To many cheerful, 
impetuous, even intelligent men, the very ups and downs of 
mining life are full of fascination. If not always blest, they 
are always "to be blest." Anything to such men is better 
than dull monotony — even though it be the monotony of 

Very many of the earlier "Argonauts" were naturally 
roving, restless spirits. Many more were made so by their 
environment. It is not in average human nature to see 
others run and hurrah, and not be tempted to join in the 
procession. The most extravagant stories were continually 
set afloat. Men were rushing pell-mell to "Gold Bluff," 
"Nugget Gulch," and "Lucky Canyon," and a hundred 
other as loudly trumpeted regions. They searched ridge and 
ravine southward to the desert sands, and northward to 
the barren lava beds. They explored the most difficult 
recesses of the Coast Range. The result of all this was a 
vast amount of territory soon imperfectly prospected, and 
a vast number of men kept financially "dead broke," while 
growing wealthy in experience. 

In the beginning the mines put all men practically on a 
level. Social distinctions were swept out of sight. Letters 
of introduction counted for little — family connections, man- 
ners, money, clothes, for less. The whole community 
seemed to be given an even start. Every stranger found a 
welcome and was bidden to stake off his claim and go to 
work. The veriest greenhorn was as likely to "strike it rich" 

Memories of Early Wisconsin and the Gold Mines 135 

as the wisest professor of geology; and the best claim on 
the gulch might give out without a moment's warning. 
No one who was willing to help himself was allowed to 
suffer or to go without the means to make a start. 

There is said to have been a short time in California, 
immediately following the discovery of gold, when crime 
in the mines was almost absolutely unknown — when bags of 
"gold-dust" were left unguarded in tents and cabins while 
the owners were at work on their claims. This state of ^ 
things was partly due to the rich surface deposits which 
were then rapidly discovered and to the consequent feeling 
that the supply was practically inexhaustible. It was easier 
to earn money than to steal it, and infinitely safer too. 
Miners at that time pitched their tents close together in 
clumps of chaparral and manzanita. The bonds of fellow- 
ship were strong and sincere. Leeches and parasites had not 
yet fastened upon the community. The wretch who could 
steal from his comrades in those busy, friendly camps was 
hopelessly hardened. An old pioneer speaking of these 
very early mining days once said: "In 1848 a man could go 
into a miner's cabin, cut a slice of bacon, cook a meal, roll up 
in a blanket and go to sleep, certain to be welcomed kindly 
when the owner returned." This Arcadian era lasted much 
longer, too, in the Northern mines, where the American 
element more largely predominated. When disturbances 
and conflicts did set in, their coming was often attributed 
to the influence of the lawyers. "We needed no law," many 
an old miner would say, "until the lawyers came" — a 
curious but very common confusion of ideas. As a matter of 
fact, there were plenty of lawyers all the time working as 
quiet citizens in the gulches, only waiting until there was a 
demand for their services. They made themselves known 
when wanted. Nine-tenths of the crimes and misdemeanors 
that appear on the docket of an ordinary criminal court 
were impossible in the mining camp, and a larger pro])or- 


John B, Parkinson 

tion of the ordinary civil cases were equally out of the 
question. The best of lawyers would have starved in such a 
community. But there was "law" from the beginning, and 
for the time and place it was the only serviceable kind. 
It was unwritten, simple, and went straight to the mark. 
And there was a court to enforce it — an assembly of freemen 
in open council. All who swung a pick or held a claim — 
boys of sixteen and men of sixty — took part in its delibera- 
tions. No more perfect democracies ever existed than these 
early mining camps. They had government, but its three 
departments were fused into one, and that one was adminis- 
tered directly by the people. 

One of the best illustrations of the gold-miner's method 
of settling serious disputes occurred on Scotch Bar — a min- 
ing camp neighboring to my own, in northern California. A 
discovery of some very "rich gravel" or mining ground was 
made on this Bar, and in such a way that two equally strong 
parties of prospectors laid claim to it at the same time. 
Each group was entirely honest in believing its own claim 
the better one. The contestants at once began to increase 
their fighting numbers by enlistments from the rest of the 
camp, until twenty or thirty men were sworn in on each side. 
The ground in dispute was so situated that it was best 
worked in partnership, and thirty claims of the ordinary 
size took up all the territory in dispute. So here were two 
rival and resolute companies ready to begin work, and no 
law whatever to prevent a pitched battle. 

It began to look very much like fighting. Men were 
asked to take sides and bring their bowies, revolvers, and 
shotguns. The two opposing parties took up their stations 
on the banks of the gulch. There was some further and very 
excited talk, and at last eight or ten shots were interchanged, 
fortunately injuring no one. By this time the blood of the 
contestants was fairly roused. The interests at stake were 
very large, and neither side proposed to yield. It now 

Memories of Early Wisconsin and the Gold Mines 137 

seemed that nothing could prevent a terrible hand-to-hand 
conflict. The next minute must precipitate it. But just at 
this crisis another power asserted itself — that which in 
every mining camp, and indeed in every pioneer Anglo- 
Saxon community, makes so forcibly for law and order. 
The very moment the first shot was fired, the camp, the 
neighborhood, the little community at large had taken the 
field. Dozens, hundreds of men who, five minutes before, ^ 
were mere spectators of the diflSculty, now insisted upon a 
parley, negotiated a truce, and urged a resort to legal 

The moment this compromise was suggested, the comba- 
tants laid aside their weapons. They knew there was no 
legal authority within twenty miles, and no force, even in 
the camp itself, able to keep them from fighting. It was a 
victory of common sense — a triumph of the moral principles 
learned in boyhood in New England villages and on Western 
prairies. Men more thoroughly fearless never faced opposing 
weapons. But the demand for a fair trial in open court 
found an answering chord in every bosom. Both parties 
willingly agreed to arbitration, but not to the ordinary 
arbitration of the miners' court. The matter in dispute 
seemed too serious. They chose a committee, sent it to San 
Francisco, had three or four of the best lawyers to be found 
there engaged for each party, and also engaged a judge of 
much experience in mining cases. It was a great day at 
Scotch Bar when all this legal talent arrived. The claims 
in dispute had meanwhile been lying untouched by anyone, 
guarded by camp opinion and by sacred pledges of honor, 
ever since the day of the compact between the rival com- 

The case was tried with all possible formality, and as 
scrupulously as if it had occurred within the civil jurisdiction 
of a district court. With a simple sense of fairness it had 
been agreed by the parties that the winners should i)ay all 


John B, Parkinson 

costs. When the verdict came, there was no compromise 
about it. It was squarely for one side and squarely against 
the other. The defeated party accepted it without a mur- 
mur. Neither then nor at any other time were they ever 
heard to complain. 

An eyewitness, speaking of this celebrated trial, said: 
"The whole camp was excited over it for days and weeks. 
At last when the case was decided, the claim was opened by 
the successful party; and when they reached the bedrock 
and were ready to 'clean up,' we all knocked off work and 
came down and stood on the banks, till the ravine on both 
sides was lined with men. And I saw them take out gold 
with iron spoons and fill pans with solid gold, thousands 
upon thousands of dollars." On the banks of the river, 
with the hundreds of spectators, stood the defeated contes- 
tants, cheerful and even smiling. 

In the early period, mining interests took precedence of 
agricultural in the entire gold-field. Law was made by the 
miners for the miners. Even the state courts at an early date 
decided that "agricultural lands though in the possession of 
others, may be worked for gold" — that "all persons who 
settle for agricultural purposes upon any mining lands, so 
settle at their own risk." The finest orchards and finest 
gardens were liable to be destroyed without remedy. 
Roads were washed away, houses were undermined, towns 
were moved to new sites, and sometimes the entire soil on 
which they had stood was sluiced away from grass roots to 

Down in Grass Valley, one of the rich placer regions, 
two men fenced in a natural meadow. They expected to 
cut at least two crops of hay annually, worth one hundred 
dollars a ton. But before a month had passed, a prospector 
climbed their brush fence, sunk a shaft, struck "pay gravel," 
and in less than twenty -four hours the whole hay ranch 
was staked off in claims of fifty feet square, and the ravaged 

Memories of Early Wisconsin and the Gold Mines 139 

proprietors never got a claim. Once grant that the highest 
use of the land was to yield gold, and all the rest follows. 

But exceptions were sometimes as arbitrarily made and 
summarily enforced as the rule itself. In 1851 two miners 
began to sink a shaft on Main Street, in the business center 
of Nevada City. A sturdy merchant made complaint, but 
was promptly answered that there was no law to prevent 
anyone from digging down to ''bedrock" and drifting under - 
the street, and they proposed to try it. "Then I'll make a 
law to suit the case," said the merchant, himself an old 
ex-miner, and stepping into his store, he came out with a 
navy revolver and made the law and enforced it upon the 
spot, establishing the precedent that Main Street, at least 
in that city, was not mining ground. 

The members of our party did not stick together after 
reaching the mines, although I was with Eaton much of the 
time. We found some gold, but none of us struck it rich. 
I had always looked forward to returning to Wisconsin and 
going on with my college course. I decided to do so when I 
received a letter from my grandfather telling me about one 
my family had received from Professor Emerson. In it 
he stated that my standing as a preparatory student at 
Beloit had been excellent, and lamented that I had sacrificed 
my prospects for a career, to become a gold miner. 

I had had enough of crossing the plains and concluded 
to return home by the Nicaragua route. A group of miners 
were on the point of setting out for home, and I joined 
company with them. One of the group was a young man 
from Toledo, and with him I traveled the entire way. 
The first stage of our journey was made in a little democrat 
wagon, in which we crossed the mountains to Shasta City. 
At a place where we stopped for lunch, wliile descending 
the mountain, we came upon a posse of mounted men who 
were taking a murderer to Shasta City. We traveled along 
with them, and the next day were met by some officers 


John B, Parkinson 

coming out to take the criminal into custody. He was 
lodged in jail, but I never learned what was afterward 
done with him. 

From Shasta City we traveled by stagecoach and (later) 
by boat down the Sacramento River to San Francisco. 
Here we stayed over night; the next morning we embarked 
on the steamer, Uncle Sam, passed out through the Golden 
Gate, and began our voyage down the Pacific. Our company 
consisted almost wholly of miners returning, like myself, 
to the States. One incident of this stage of the journey I 
still recall vividly. While passing down the coast of Mexico, 
close in shore, another steamer came up from behind us, 
and the two vessels indulged in a furious race. There was 
great danger of our running upon some one of the many 
rocks which abounded in the vicinity; the incident frightened 
me more than anything I had encountered during my entire 
three years in the mines. 

We landed at Juan del Seur, and crossed the Isthmus 
over the route which was long advocated for the inter- 
oceanic canal. From Juan del Seur a journey of about 
twelve miles over a low mountain range to Lake Nicaragua 
lay before us, and the transportation company offered us 
the choice of making this trip on horseback or in democrat 
wagons. I chose the latter, and set out with four other 
travelers and a native driver. Before we had gone far such 
a furious rainstorm as I had never witnessed before overtook 
us; night fell, and from time to time the passengers were 
compelled to walk ahead of the wagon to search out the 
road. At length we reached Lake Nicaragua; here we found 
but poor accommodations and spent the night on the floor. 
In the morning we took a little steamer across the lake, a 
distance of ninety miles. Then we entered the San Juan 
River. In descending it we had to leave the boat several 
times to pass around rapids, taking another vessel on the 
other side of them. The country was then perfectly wild; 

Memories of Early Wisconsin and the Gold Mines 141 

parrots and monkeys were numerous on the banks of the 
stream, and to me it proved an interesting journey. At 
Greytown on the Atlantic, where we stayed all night, marks 
of the American bombardment the year before were still 
plentiful. Here we took passage on a steamer for New York 
where we arrived without special incident. At New York 
I stopped only long enough to exchange my gold (which I 
had carried in a belt) for coined money, and then set out by - 
rail for the West. This was my first experience with railroad 
travel. From Chicago I took a train for Freeport, then the 
terminus of the Galena and Chicago Union, Chicago's first 
railroad. From Freeport to Fayette I traveled by stage- 
coach. It had taken me five months and eight days to cross 
the plains to California, and three weeks to return. Fifty 
years later I took the trip by rail, with my wife and daughter, 
in four days. 

Joseph Schafer 

The following essay on the town of Newton is presented 
not as a finished piece of local history writing, but rather as 
an outline of significant facts derived from manuscripts 
and printed sources, which may serve as a skeleton to 
be clothed upon and rendered lifelike by a more or less 
extended process of local study. The criticism on local 
histories as customarily produced is that they are (a) un- 
systematic, illustrating only one, or a few, of the multiform 
interests which make up the complex of local community 
life; and (b) largely worthless, because the sources of infor- 
mation are chiefly vague recollections of the author or 
others interviewed by him, instead of being thoroughly 
documented. A third defect often noted is the absence of a 
feeling for general historical results, on the part of workers 
in the local field, which makes so much local history work 
comparatively barren. 

With the vast collection of the primary sources of Wis- 
consin history filed at the State Historical Library, or 
available in Madison, it would be possible to prepare at 
that center an outline, similar to this one, on the history of 
every town in the state. In the first volume of the Wisconsin 
Domesday Book, now in course of preparation, we are 
bringing together the general materials on twenty-five 
selected towns. Some of these can be treated much more 
fully than I have treated Newton, for we have in the library 
much ampler data, and in most cases they will be in more 
extended form. There will be a plat or map showing the 
farms and farmers of 1860, with census data about the 
size, cultivation, value, and productions of the farms, also 
surveyors' notes descriptive of the land before it was set- 
tled; for 1860 there will be, also, a list of the inhabitants of 

Documenting Local History 


each town alphabetized according to heads of famihes as 
described in the census schedules, giving name of each 
person, age, nativity, and the occupations of adults. A 
general chart will supply comparative agricultural statis- 
tics, from the manuscript census schedules, for the periods 
1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880. Another chart will display 
similar statistics taken from the printed state census for the 
periods 1885, 1895, and 1905. The main facts about the ' 
political history of all the towns will occupy another chart. 
There will be a general introduction in which historical 
problems emerging from the comparative study of the 
twenty -five towns will be discussed. 

A reading of the subjoined sketch of Newton will con- 
vince the discriminating student that much remains to be 
done on almost every phase of the history. A part of the 
work will be in the nature of a study of local records — of 
the town, the school districts, the churches, and those near- 
by newspapers which reflected best, at different periods, 
the life of this community. Of course, the leaders in the 
distinctive lines of endeavor — farming, politics, teaching, 
and especially morals and religion — will have to be identified 
on the ground and studied as opportunity offers; here is a 
place for the interview with old men and women, also for 
the study of business records, private diaries, letters, and 
so forth. One entire section of the town history, and that 
by far the most important, will deal with moral, intellectual, 
and spiritual conditions. That is wholly left for the local 
researcher because general sources are too meager to 
help us much along these lines. 

A splendid opportunity for good work will bo found in 
tracing the antecedents of individuals or groui)s, making 
clear the conditions out of which they came, the circum- 
stances inducing emigration from the old homo nnd settle- 
ment in the new; the education and si)ecial training of 
the pioneer settlers, their personal characters and social 
ideals, are elements to be stressed in the study. 


Joseph Schafer 


There are numbers of rural towns in Wisconsin, as well 
as villages and cities, whose history deserves to be written 
in the large and published for the benefit of their own chil- 
dren as well as for the benefit of the state. The time seems 
ripe for a movement to secure a good many individual town 
histories, especially since every community is anxious now 
to honor its soldiers, living and dead; and the State Histor- 
ical Society is prepared to help in the manner indicated 
herein, and in all other practicable ways. 



The town of Newton occupies township 18 north of 
range 23 east, in the southeastern part of Manitowoc 
County, five miles southwest of Manitowoc. It lies in part 
on the shore of Lake Michigan, the lake cutting off portions 
of sections 36, 25, and 24, grazing also the southeast corner 
of section 13 (see plat). The surface is undulating and it is 
well watered throughout, the principal streams being Silver 
Creek, Yellow Creek, and Paint Creek, all flowing southeast 
into Lake Michigan. 

Originally, the town was practically covered with a dense 
forest growth which included birch, linn, sugar maple, ash, 
cedar, elm, alder, beech, with some pine and tamarack in 
the swamps, also some oak, especially on the higher parts. 
The swamps were rather extensive while the country was 
still forest-covered, as shown by the surveyor's notes ;^ 
yet the township averages high in first-class land, and none 
of it was described as poorer than second-class. The soil 
near the lake was light, but yet fertile, while most of the 
balance was heavier and very productive when cleared. 
Much of the wet land was automatically reclaimed by 
removing the covering of timber. 

^ The township was surveyed in 1834 by Byron Kilbom-n, who became famous as 
one of the founders of Milwaukee and president of the Milwaukee and Mississippi Rail- 
road Company. 

Documenting Local History 


But there were no prairies or ''openings," the whole 
requiring the heavy labor and expense of clearing, which 
helps to explain the comparative slowness of agricultural 
development in the town. While most of the land was 
purchased as early as 1848, in which year seventy-seven 
entries were made, the census of 1860 shows that few of the 
farms were opened to more than half their acreage by that 
time, and that many were only well begun (Wisconsin 
Domesday Booh — "Farms and Farmers of 1860"). Com- 
putations based on the agricultural statistics of the three 
census periods, 1860, 1870, and 1880, give the following 
results: In 1860 Newton had 228 farms, containing a total 
of 5,150 acres improved land and a total of 8,749 acres 
unimproved land. In other words, the average farm had 22 
acres improved and 38 acres unimproved. This "average 
farm" would be valued at $541, its implements and machin- 
ery at $33. The suppositious average farmer owned one 
third of a horse, 1 ox, 1 cow, 1 head of "other cattle," 
2 swine, one-third of a sheep, and his total livestock was val- 
ued at $64. He produced 16 bushels of wheat, 44 of rye, no 
corn, 46 of oats, 9 of peas, 45 of Irish potatoes, and 4 of 
barley. He made 57 pounds of butter, and put up 2 tons 
of hay. 

In 1870 the number of farms was 218, a decrease of 10. 
The improved land amounted to 8,401 acres, the unim- 
proved to 6,813, showing that more wild land was now 
included in the farms, even while the farms were growing 
fewer in number, thus increasing the acreage by a double 
process. The average farm now contained 38 improved 
acres and 31 unimproved. It was valued at $2,066. The 
value of implements and machinery was $86. There was, to 
each farm, on the average, 1 horse and half an ox, 2 cows, 1 
"other cattle," 3 sheep, 2 swine, — a total livestock vahia- 
tion of $315. The average farm now produced 110 bushels 
of wheat, 40 of rye, no corn, 109 of oats, 28 of potatoes, 24 

146 Joseph S chafer 

of peas, 10 of barley, 10 pounds of wool, 195 pounds of 
butter, and it made 7 tons of hay. 

By 1880 the number of farms had increased to 292 and 
the total acreage in farms had increased greatly also. This 
was the decade of local railway construction, the Milwaukee, 
Lake Shore and Western being completed to Manitowoc in 
1873. The amount of improved land is given as 13,991 
acres, the unimproved at 9,508 acres. The average farm 
now had 47 acres improved land, to 32 acres unimproved, 
and was valued at $2,738. Implements and machinery are 
worth $142 and livestock $197. The total value of farm 
productions, on the average, was $342. There were 2 horses, 
nearly 4 milch cows and 2 "other cattle," 2 sheep, and 2 swine. 
The wheat crop amounted to 216 bushels from 13 acres, 
rye 18 from 1 acre, oats 184 from 7 acres, and barley 36 from 
1 acre. There was still no Indian corn. The average farm 
produced 86 pounds of butter and 499 gallons of milk. The 
total number of milch cows in the town was 1,155. The 
farms may be regarded as "made" by 1880, and all the 
land of the township, swamps included, must have been 
reckoned within the farms to make the aggregate acreage ; 
even then the total seems excessive. 

Averaging only 79 acres, the farms of this town were 
smaller on the whole than those of any other of twenty -two 
towns compared with it. But the acreage of improved land 
was greater than in Prairie du Chien and Sevastopol, though 
less than in the other twenty. The kinds of production and 
the annual value of the production both indicate that, as 
yet, no considerable specialization had occurred except in 
the growing of peas. This town led all in that particular, 
the total production amounting to over nine thousand 
bushels, or 30 bushels to the average farm. The annual 
value of the total productions was, however, the lowest of the 
towns compared, with the single exception of Prairie du 
Chien, and one is forced to look upon the community as 

Documenting Local History 147 

made up at that time (1880) of families who were generally 
in very moderate circumstances. However, the census shows 
us a few good-sized farms. Four had 100 acres or more of 
improved land each, and an annual production of $1,000. 
These four farmers were distinctly in advance of the rest 
pecuniarily, other incomes ranging usually between $150 and 
$500, with a few below the minimum and a few above the 
maximum. It would be interesting to know to what extent 
differing incomes were evened by the fact that some of the ' 
surplus labor of the smaller farms was employed for wages 
on the larger farms. There was actually paid out, in wages, 
from incomes aggregating $16,300, the sum of $3,900, or a 
little less than 24 per cent. 

By means of the state census it is possible to trace the 
agricultural history of the town down to the year 1905. 
We find that in 1885 Newton was credited with 13,374 
acres improved land, and 8,080 unimproved and wood 
land. The cash value of the farms was given as $495,640. 
One of the new productions appearing prominently in the 
1885 schedule is cheese, Newton being credited with a 
total production of 564,781 pounds, valued at $51,150. 
The butter record was missed, the town being accidentally 
omitted from the schedule exhibiting that item. Peas 
continued to be produced in considerable quantities, but 
there were only 14 acres of corn in the town. 

In 1895 the improved acreage had risen to 17,539, and 
the unimproved had fallen to 4,457. The value had risen 
to $1,123,550, an increase of more than 100 per cent in 
ten years. The cheese production was 141,661 pounds man- 
ufactured in 11 factories located within the town, wliich 
drew milk from 928 cows. The production of butter 
totaled 85,000 pounds. There was one creamery. The 
combined value of the butter and cheese was less than 
that of the cheese produced in 1885, so that one suspects 
errors in reporting or in printing the returns. 


Joseph Schafer 

In 1905 Newton had 304 farms, only 12 more than in 
1880. The total acreage was 21,114 — improved 17,299, 
unimproved 3,815. The cash value of farms was given as 
$1,690,000. The town was producing a little wheat, but 
more rye, oats, and barley, and especially peas. Its chief 
wealth was in cattle, particularly cows, of which it had 
2,039, valued at $50,880. It produced 78,739 gallons of 
milk, valued at $7,662; also 63,914 pounds of butter, valued 
at $13,498. Its 4 creameries, with 144 patrons milking 
1,028 cows, produced 146,059 pounds of butter valued 
at $30,494; and its 5 cheese factories, with 181 patrons 
milking 1,150 cows, produced 349,170 pounds of cheese 
valued at $34,233. The combined value of the products of 
dairy, field, pasture, and poultry yard was $228,600; and 
this, divided among 304 farms, assigns to them an average 
income of $745 — a decided increase since 1880, when the 
average was only $342. 

The forested condition of the township, while a distinct 
hindrance to the agricultural subjection of the land, afforded 
opportunity to the settlers not merely to obtain fuel, which 
for many years was over-abundant, and to obtain free 
fencing material, but also to add to their limited incomes by 
getting out for the market saw logs, hoop-poles, cordwood, 
and railroad ties. The presence of sawmills in the town 
or on its borders also made building material cheap to 
those owning saw timber. "Persons engaged in clearing," 
said the editor of the Manitowoc County Herald, Jan. 11, 
1851, ''always find more or less valuable timber which has 
a ready market and is thus made a valuable source of 
assistance in promoting early improvements." As late as 
1869, and doubtless for some years thereafter, the majority 
of the farmers were still marketing ''forest products" — 
some of them to the extent of $200 to $300, and from these 
figures down to $10 or $15. 

The great road to Green Bay entered the town of Newton 
at section 30, and running northeast emerged at section 

Documenting Local History 


3 near Silver Lake. A branch of this road led east to 
Manitowoc, and other roads reached the county town from 
the south. From early times there were piers near where 
later the village of Northeim grew up, and stores at that 
point (with later a creamery) made it a great convenience 
to the farmers living in the southeastern and southern 
portions of the town. The rail line of the Milwaukee, 
Lake Shore and Western Railway enters from the south 
at section 34 and leaves the town at the northeast corner ^ 
of section 1. Its station of Newport is in section 34. 
This line was completed to Manitowoc in 1873. There 
was a mill in section 7, one at Silver Lake, one at Manitowoc 
Rapids two miles from the north line of the town, and of 
course others at Manitowoc about five miles away. Black- 
smiths and wagon makers were located within the town, 
and from the year 1855 there was a post office at Newton- 
burg in section 8, with later one at Northeim in section 35. 
By 1878 the town had two cheese factories, one in section 
5 and another in section 28. From that time, factory 
dairying gradually developed until it became the dominant 
industry of the people, as we have seen. 


Newton is known as one of the most distinctively 
German towns of Wisconsin. Among the original entry- 
men of the land were a goodly proportion of American 
names. But some of these were speculators taking up 
numerous tracts for resale to settlers. The earliest entries, 
numbering ten, in 1836 were all by Americans. After that 
no more entries are recorded until the year 1847, when 
36 were made by Americans, but a larger number — 41 — 
by persons with foreign names. In the year 1848 the 
number of entries, was 77, mostly made by foreigners. Tlie 
latest date of entry for any of the lands in tlie townshi]) is 
1858. It is noticeable that, while Americans freciuoiitly 
took up scattered tracts, showing that tliey wore in ken 


Joseph Schafer 

for speculation, the foreigners generally bought one, two, 
or three forties in compact form for home making. In the 
total, foreigners entered 110 tracts, as against 81 entered 
by Americans (at least by English-speaking persons). 

An analysis of the population has been made from the 
manuscript census schedules of 1850, 1860, and 1870. 
The results may be tabulated as follows: 


U. S., except Wisconsin. 






























Total, Foreign-born 
Total, Native-born. 

















Documenting Local History 


Some of the facts which emerge from this investigation 
are rather astonishing. For example, it was found that in 
1860 only two heads of famihes were of American origin, 
all the rest being foreign and, with few exceptions, German. 
Many of the children of German parents, of course, were of 
American nativity, which gave the town its total of 442 
natives as against 973 foreign-born. The census of 1850 
shows 272 foreign-born and 59 native-born, or only 20 per 
cent native. By 1870 a decided change has come about, 
the native element being now slightly in the majority. 
From this point we rely on the state census, which was 
taken at the middle of the decade, and we find in Newton in 
1885 a total of 1,892, of which 597 were foreign-born, or 
31.5 per cent of the whole number, while 1,295, or 68.5 
per cent, were American -born. Ten years later, 1895, the 
figures stand: 1,607 American and 532 foreign, or a fraction 
over 75 per cent American and a fraction under 25 per 
cent foreign. 

The last state census examined, that of 1905, shows a 
reduction in the total population of the town from 2,139 
(in 1895) to 1,741. This is doubtless due to the high 
mortality rate among the older generation and the partial 
dispersion of families through the withdrawal of adult 
young persons, the trend to the city having set in strongly. 
The proportions of native and foreign now stand: 1,451 
native to 290 foreign. In other words, only 16f per cent 
of the population were of foreign birth, while the native 
element made up 83% per cent of the whole. Inasmuch 
as the entire state, in 1905, showed a native element which 
was only 77.34 per cent of the whole, it is clear that this 
town had been "Americanizing" at an exceptional rate, 
relatively to other communities. 

A comparative study of nativities of twenty-five towns, 
including Newton, from the state censuses of 1895 and 
1905 yields this result: In 1895 the town of Newton stood 


152 Joseph S chafer 

number 14 on the list arranged to show the smallness of the 
percentage of foreign-born in the population, while in 1905 
this town stood number 8. This proves that the process 
of change from foreign to native, as it proceeded in the 
town of Newton, was exceptionally rapid both positively 
and comparatively. To understand how this came about it 
is only necessary to contemplate the permanent occupation 
of the farms by the original German entrymen of the land, 
or the German emigrant purchasers of privately owned 
wild land. These emigrants, coming in the forties and 
fifties of the last century, were, as the census record shows, 
mainly young adults. Their children, so far as they were 
born in Wisconsin, would be natives and some of these 
children would inherit the lands on the death of the parents. 
When the older generation had passed away, the population 
would be entirely native, save for that comparatively small 
number of the younger generation who were born in Ger- 
many prior to the emigration of their parents. 

That the above is essentially the process which changed 
the town of Newton in fifty years from an almost purely 
German to an almost purely American community is nearly, 
if not quite, demonstrable from documentary sources. 
It is noteworthy that, out of the 1,451 American-born in 
1905, 1,434 (or all but 17) were natives of Wisconsin. 
Doubtless nearly all of them were born in the town of 
Newton itself. This view is strengthened by a comparison 
of the names of landowners in 1860 with those of later 
dates, as shown by the county maps. On the map of the 
year 1903 we identify 82 names of persons who owned land 
in the township in 1860. In most cases the land held was 
in the same sections and constituted in part or in whole 
the original farms. Recalling that the number of farm 
owners in 1860, according to the census, was 228, we see 
that the proportion of persisting families must have been 
very large. The biographies in the county history include 

Documenting Local History 


the names of 18 persons who resided in the town of Newton 
in 1910. In all cases they were then living on the farms on 
which they were born. 

We implied above that the farms of Newton could hardly 
be said to be "made" until about 1880. And no doubt 
there was for a number of years some shifting about — 
some buying, mortgaging, and selling — among those hold- 
ing inferior or small tracts. It would be more normal, . 
therefore, to compare the owners of about 1880 with those 
of 1903. We have a county plat book for 1878, on which 
we identify 140 names appearing on the plat of 1903, 
twenty-five years later.^ This shows that nearly one-half 
of the original farm makers' names cling to the soil of the 
township. Were we able to determine the cases where 
men from outside married daughters of the old families 
and substituted their own names, it would increase still 
further the roll of the permanent families. No comparisons 
with other towns have yet been made on this head, but one 
risks little in asserting that Newton has been socially one 
of the most stable farming communities in the state. 

When we ask the reason for this stability, the answer 
will have to be sought partly in racial characteristics, 
partly in economic conditions, and doubtless largely in the 
facts of the early social organization. There is probably 
some truth in the oft reiterated assertion that the Germans 
'*stick to the land" much more tenaciously than native 
Americans and most foreign immigrants. Tliat would 
be more true, however, of those who live together in groups 
that are organized to practise their native speech, to enjoy 
their chosen religion and distinctive recreational and social 
life, than among those who are racially scattered depend- 
ently in the midst of an alien life to which at first tliey 
can but imperfectly adapt themselves. Now llio (unmans 
of Newton t6wn, who were at first largely of the Lullirran 

2 Many names are badly misspelled but can be identiBed under their disguises. 


Joseph Schafer 

and Evangelical Reformed faiths, had their own churches 
and parochial schools within the town, and at these doubt- 
less much of the social and recreational life was centered. 
Stores, mills, taverns, repair shops, all existed locally at 
points convenient for the farmers, thus minimizing the 
necessity for frequent visits to towns, so unsettling to the 
habits of rural youth. 

The fact that the land was hard to subdue to cultiva- 
tion, but generously productive when cleared, may have 
had its effect. The original settlers bent themselves to the 
heavy task of ''grubbing and breaking," devoting to it, 
with their families, in not infrequent instances as many as 
twenty or twenty-five years. Fields won by such persistent 
and prolonged toil, especially if they be rich and fruitful, 
are apt to be appreciated from a sentimental as well as 
an economic viewpoint. 'T spent my life making this 
farm in order that my children may have a stake in the 
country," is an idea often heard among pioneer farmers, 
especially foreigners to whom landholding seems to confer 
social distinction and the founding of a family implies a 
landed property as a basis. 

But there is another fact to consider in this connection. 
The period of farm making, which invariably deprives the 
children of those opportunities for education which become 
so abundant in later stages, and which readily fit youth 
to pursue almost any career, was here just about long 
enough to absorb the entire energies of the older children. 
These would be well trained to the routine of farm life, 
but having no other hope than to farm on the hard-won 
acres, would be very ready to take their parents' places. 
The younger children drifted easily into new occupations and 
fitted into new surroundings. 

It will be interesting to determine, from comparative 
studies, whether the forest settler's family tends more 
strongly to persist than does the prairie settler's family, 

Documenting Local History 


or vice versa. Casual observation seems to suggest that 
the prairie family shifted much more readily. One im- 
portant reason for this would seem to have been the habit 
and bent for wheat growing. No other form of early 
agriculture was so immediately remunerative under favor- 
able conditions. Accordingly, whenever the lands in one 
region refused longer to produce good crops, the farmers 
who had been wheat growers and were equipped for that . 
business moved west to new and ever new wheat lands. 
It is apt to be so with the growers of staple crops. It was 
so with the Virginia tobacco growers and the Carolina 
cotton growers. The devotee of a single crop, especially 
if his capital is invested in equipment to a greater extent 
than in land, because he dreads to make more change 
than he is compelled to make in his occupational habits 
and expenditure shifts his location and continues in the 
old lines of endeavor. The "mixed farmer," on the other 
hand, who learns to raise equally well a variety of products — 
"a little bit of everything" — is in much better case when 
new adaptations are demanded, for he can more readily 
modify his activities to suit the requirements. His training 
is more general and he is less bound by financial or social 
consideration to continue in the old path. So it is not 
surprising that the men of Newton, who '*made a hand" 
with ax and mattock at the outset, drove the breaking 
plow through soil, grubs, and undergrowth, reduced the 
raw land to a high state of tilth, and grew all of the small 
grains indifferently, as opportunity, seasons, and prices 
suggested, meantime tending cows and other cattle, should 
be prepared when the right time arrived to stress more 
and more one of the old occupations — caring for cows — 
until that business became almost a profession. 

Printed biographies of men and women who are un lives 
of Newton tell us something about the early settlors, what 
manner of folk they were, what their worldly condition, 


Joseph S chafer 

their training, and the mode of their entry into the com- 
munity's Hfe, with facts about their achievements. The 
History of Manitowoc County presents about forty such 
sketches. We have in them accounts of famihes setthng 
on the heavily timbered wild land, usually beginning home 
life in a log hut — in one case, in a temporary shelter of 
bark — and gradually working their way to independence; 
of sons and grandsons who became business men, profes- 
sional men, teachers, scientific farmers, inventors; of 
daughters and granddaughters who were the partners of 
successful men in all these pursuits. References to the 
pioneer ancestors reveal that the town of Newton was 
served by men of special training — that some who settled 
there were blacksmiths and worked at their trade, others 
wagon makers, others millers, others carpenters, and so 
forth. We learn that, while most of the immigrants were 
poor to begin with, a few came with appreciable sums of 
money, and these built grist mills, sawmills, taverns, and 
stores, and helped during the time of beginnings in pro- 
moting the construction of churches and schools, as well 
as in other public improvements. 

The Civil War record of Newton is expressed mainly in 
the soldiers the town furnished. These apparently num- 
bered forty-two,^ as given in the Roster, of whom two were 
killed in action; two died of wounds received in battle; 
three others were discharged on account of wounds and 
disability ; and six died of disease. Four earned the unenvi- 
able title of deserters. But it seems clear that these must 
have been "floaters," for their names — all non-German — 
are alien to the list of family names of the town in 1860. 
The amount raised by tax for bounties in the year ending 
May 31, 1865, was $2,100.^ 

^ There may be a question about four of these. They are listed as from Manitowoc 
County, but their names seem to identify them as belonging to Newton families. 
Durrie, D. S., Gazetteer of Wisconsin, MS. 

Documenting Local History 


When the vast labor of compiHng the records of soldiers 
of the World War shall have been completed in the form in 
which it has been begun by the Adjutant General of Wis- 
consin, it will be possible to give the results with measurable 

Politically, the town of Newton was for many years 
overwhelmingly Democratic, which is normal for the 
period up to 1860, considering the prevailing nationality of > 
its people. So nearly unanimous were the voters in the 
gubernatorial election of 1859 that Randall, Republican, 
received but one single vote, while his Democratic oppo- 
nent, Hobart, polled 72 votes. Nevertheless, the next 
year, in the presidential contest, Lincoln was given a 
majority, 128, against 77 for Douglas and none for either 
Breckenridge or Bell. This was due, no doubt, to the 
powerful free-soil and antislavery sentiment which pre- 
vailed among the Germans. Manitowoc County gave 
Lincoln 2,041, Douglas 1,947, a result which astonished 
both Democrats and Republicans.^ 

Thereafter the county again voted regularly for the 
Democratic presidential ticket until 1896. The town of 
Newton, on the other hand, shifted from Republican to 
Democratic and back again in a most eccentric fashion, 
the causes of which call for investigation. jNIcClellan 
received a majority of 44 in 1864, while Grant won by 36 
votes in '68 and Greeley by 46 in '72. Tilden had a major- 
ity of 27 in '76, Garfield 25 in 1880, and Blaine 3 in '84. 
In 1888 Harrison and Cleveland each received 173 votes, 
as did the gubernatorial candidates also.^ But in '92 
Cleveland received 165 as against 98 for Harrison, the 
state ticket polling identically the same numbers. INlcKin- 
ley defeated Bryan 214 to 147 in '96, and 182 to 123 in 1900; 

^ See Manitowoc County Herald, Nov. 15, 18C(). 

^That makes the vote in 1890, for governor, appear on tlir f;uo of il vory slran>r»\ 
It stood: Peck, Democrat, 190; Hoard, Rcpnblican, 77. Hut the Hrnnctt Law issue 
explains it. 


Joseph Schafer 

while Roosevelt in 1904 received 207 against Parker's 109. 
At that election 7 votes were cast for Swallow, Prohibi- 
tionist; and 3 for Debs, Socialist. In 1908 Bryan obtained 
132, Taft 182, Debs 8. Taft was leader in the town again 
in 1912, with 101; while Wilson received 77, Roosevelt 47, 
Debs 2, and Chapin 2. Newton was strongly Republican 
in 1916, giving Hughes 219 and Wilson 90, with no scatter- 
ing votes, Philipp for governor running even with Hughes. 
The 1920 vote stood: Harding, 287; Cox, 27; Watkins, 3; 
Debs, 54. 


The biographical sketches we have of pioneers tell us 
something of the intellectual and moral qualities of the 
makers of Newton, but on this head a large amount of 
local investigation is demanded. This section of the 
history cannot be written from existing documentary 

A very little material can be gleaned with reference to 
the education of the young from the biographies of men 
reared in Newton. But we ought to know not only about 
the character of the public school and the parochial schools 
which existed in the town, and about the work of the most 
notable teachers who served them, but also about the 
young men and women who attended higher institutions of 
learning outside — normal schools, seminaries, colleges, and 
universities. A community's gift to the world lies largely 
in its trained young men and women. 

A similar statement can be made relative to its religious 
leaders. We obtain a few facts from the printed records of 
churches, but only a few. It is known that the first church 
in Newton was of the German Reformed faith, and we have 
the names of several clergymen of that faith, but little 
more. The census of 1860 notes, among the families, that 
of John A. Salzer, thirty-seven years of age, clergyman. 

Documenting Local History 


He has a wife and four children, the eldest being a boy of 
ten. Mr. Salzer was a native of Wrttemberg, but since 
all the children were born in this country — in Illinois and 
Iowa — he must have come to America a number of years 
before. Presumably, Salzer was pastor of the church in 
Newton. A few years later we find the Reverend E. Wag- 
ner described as pastor of the Newtonburg church; and 
for at least ten years — 1874 to 1884 — the Reverend E. 
Strube occupied that post. The work of these men, their 
congregations and their school, for the moral and religious 
life of the town, deserves to be investigated. 

By the year 1878, according to the town plat of that 
year, there were five churches. We know from the Catholic 
History that St. Casimer's congregation (Catholic) was 
organized in 1868 and a church built at Northeim the same 
year, followed by a parochial school in 1874. Whether 
or not all of the other four churches were Lutheran or 
German Reformed we have no means here of determining. 

Nothing has been said about the fine arts, like music, 
carving, painting, sculpture, literature. The germs of 
these things are sometimes found in more unlikely places 
than such a rural community as Newton, and a complete 
historical survey would have to take them into account. 


W. A. Titus 

Tell me, ye winged winds, that round my pathway roar, 
Do ye not know some spot where mortals weep no more? 
Some lone and pleasant dell, some valley in the West, 
Where, free from strife for gain, the weary soul may rest? 

Legend and history are strangely interwoven in the 
story of St. Nazianz, a rehgious colony founded in 1854 in 
Manitowoc County. The narrative begins in a foreign land 
in the middle of the last century, when Father Ambrose 
Oschwald, a priest in the Black Forest region of Baden, 
Germany, who had shown marked qualities of leadership, 
decided to bring the entire membership of his parish to 
America and there in the wilderness to found a colony 
in accord with his ideals. There were several reasons 
that contributed to their decision to leave the fatherland. 
The population had increased until the country was over- 
crowded so that it was difficult to secure profitable employ- 
ment. Then, too, Germany had just passed through a 
period of revolution, and the country was seething with 
unrest. Many of the German people had already emigrated 
to Wisconsin, and this influenced Father Oschwald to plant 
his colony in the Badger State. 

The group that left Baden for the New World num- 
bered 113 persons; and as the entire community was 
included there were none of the heartbreaking separations 
so common in the cases of individual emigrants. By 
selling all of their property the community was able to raise 
24,000 florins to pay the expenses of the long journey and 
to get a start in their new home across the sea. They 
left Strasburg in May, 1854, and after a voyage covering 
fifty-four days, landed in New York. Here they rested for 

Historic Spots in Wisconsin 


a time and then set out for Milwaukee, where they arrived 
in August and where they were greeted by the pioneer 
missionary, Archbishop Henni. While in Milwaukee the 
Reverend Oschwald purchased 3,840 acres of land in 
Manitowoc County at $3.50 per acre, on which he made 
a first payment of $1,500. An advance party of six men 
was sent to Manitowoc by boat and from there started 
westward on foot through the forests to the newly- 
purchased land that was to be their future home. 

There is a legend that when they arrived at the eastern 
boundary of their tract, a white ox appeared before them 
and that they followed the animal in its winding path 
until it stopped on the spot where the first church was 
built and where it still stands. This story is supposed to 
explain why the streets of the village wind and wind with- 
out any apparent reason for their crookedness. The 
brothers of the community admit the existence of this 
legend but do not vouch for its authenticity. The state- 
ment made by some newspaper writers to the effect that 
Father Oschwald was commanded in a vision to proceed 
to America and found a colony on this exact spot is dis- 
missed by the brotherhood of the present community as a 
fairy tale that originated in the mind of some outside 

It was on a rainy Sunday that the advance party reached 
the site of the future settlement, and it is recorded that the 
first duty they performed was to fell a tree, fasliion it into 
a cross, and set it up as a rallying place for their devotions. 
Next they cut trees from which to build a log hut, sleeping on 
the ground in the meantime, and subsisting on boiled 
potatoes without salt. As they were putting the roof on 
the first log house. Father Oschwald arrived with another 
group of colonists and, cheered by the presence of their 
leader, they set about their tasks with renewed energy. 

The summer was cold and wet, and hardshij) and 
exposure brought on an epidemic of malaria from which 


W, A. Titus 

seven died and many others were greatly weakened. In 
spite of these handicaps, they cleared seventy acres and 
sowed them to rye during the first summer and fall. How- 
ever, they were unable to raise any food during the summer 
to carry them through the succeeding winter. They lived 
for the most part on a thick potato soup; but, with the 
utmost economy, the cost of food amounted to $2,000 
before they were able to harvest their first crop. Father 
Oschwald went to Milwaukee where he was able to secure 
a loan of $1800. 

During this first summer they erected the old church 
which still stands, although it is no longer used for divine 
services. This church, which meant so much to the little 
community, was twenty-four by thirty-two feet and all 
the logs that entered into its construction were carried on 
the backs of the men. The records state that as many as 
sixteen men were required to carry a single log, and that 
twenty logs were thus brought together in a single day. 
Their devoted leader was always with his men, doing his 
share of the labor and encouraging his followers with 
cheerful conversation. At night they gathered around him 
while he told them stories and read to them from his scanty 
supply of books and papers. The primitive church was 
completed and the first service held in October, 1854. By 
Christmas day following, the colonists had completed four 
houses, a community kitchen, a stable, and a blacksmith 

The winter of 1855 was a severe one with much snow; 
very little clearing could be done, and the spring came so 
late that no grain could be sown. Twenty-two acres of 
corn and a considerable acreage of potatoes were planted, 
both of which crops yielded bountifully. During this 
summer a sawmill and several additional houses were built. 
The winter of 1856 was also a long one, and the crops of the 
following season were only fair. Ten acres of spring wheat 

Historic Spots in Wisconsin 


produced well and this supplied the community with bread 
for the next twelve months. Meanwhile a herd of twenty 
cattle had been acquired and a large barn for their stock had 
been built. The year 1857 was an unfortunate one for 
the colony. Fire swept through the village and destroyed 
several buildings, including the large stock barn. Six head 
of cattle were lost in a soft swamp where they had ventured 
for grazing, and the rest of the stock suffered much from 
lack of pasturage due to the dry season. Added to their 
other misfortunes the second payment on their land now 
became due and there were no funds with which to meet it. 
The land was advertised for sale by the creditors and the 
personal property was attached, but a wealthy man from 
Sheboygan advanced the money to meet all claims and the 
property was saved to the colonists. From a financial 
standpoint, 1858 was a satisfactory year and among other 
mprovements a convent was built for the Sisters. In 
1859 there was an almost total failure of crops, and the 
community had to be maintained by contributions from 
philanthropic Catholics throughout the country; but this 
was the last occasion on which the colony needed outside 
assistance. From this time the community was self- 
supporting; and a few years later it became very prosper- 
ous. In 1864 a tannery was added to the increasing indus- 
tries of the village, and there were also installed two looms 
for the weaving of cloth. 

It is interesting to note that during the first twenty 
years of the history of the colony all property was owned 
in common and all service was rendered without com- 
pensation other than food and clothing. Meals were 
served from a community kitchen, the unmarried women 
being assigned to this service. The married people lived in 
cottages, while the single men lived in the men's dormi- 
tory and the unmarried women lived in the women's home. 


W. A. Titus 

After the death of Father Oschwald in 1873, the bonds 
that had held the community together were to some extent 
loosened. The Reverend Peter Mutz, who had been 
restored to health by Father Oschwald and had later 
studied for the priesthood, succeeded to the leadership of 
the colony. Father Mutz felt that the married members 
and their children were entitled to the fruits of their labors, 
and he accordingly conveyed portions of the lands to these 
families. As none were bound to remain, some of the 
members drifted away from the neighborhood, and the 
colony dwindled until 1898, when its remaining property 
was taken over by the Society of the Divine Saviour, who, 
with the Sisters, now control about a thousand acres of the 
original holdings. Many beautiful buildings were erected 
by these two societies, and St. Nazianz today has an 
atmosphere that is decidedly ecclesiastical. 

From the records of the colony, as well as the accounts 
of his contemporaries, it appears that the Reverend Am- 
brose Oschwald was an unusual character. His ability as 
an administrator was exceeded only by his piety, zeal, and 
devotion to his people. He was fifty-three years of age 
when, in 1854, he undertook the great task of transplanting 
an entire community from its native land to a wilderness 
home four thousand miles away. From that time until 
his death in 1873, the good priest never ceased to labor for 
the spiritual and material advancement of his followers. 
He was a skilled botanist with a special knowledge of 
medicinal herbs. There was no physician within twenty 
miles, and people, both Catholic and Protestant, came to 
him from long distances for medical treatment. He is 
said to have been remarkably successful in the treatment 
of cancer; his reputation spread far beyond the borders of 
Wisconsin. To those of the Catholic faith who were ill, he 
taught the eflScacy of prayer as an aid to healing, and thus 
the idea became prevalent that he cured by faith. This 

Historic Spots in Wisconsin 


was denied by his close friends; it seems clear that his 
familiarity with medicinal herbs enabled him to treat 
disease in a professional way, without resort to miraculous 
methods. Many still remember the kindly pastor who min- 
istered unselfishly both to their spiritual and to their 
physical needs. 

The St. Nazianz of today is a quaint rural community 
which, with a sufficient population, has never seen fit to 
become an incorporated village. There is about it a remin- 
der of a part of the Old World transplanted to the New. 
It is surrounded by a wealthy farming section, has a bank, 
stores, manufacturing plants, and all of the other adjuncts 
of a prosperous village. It has an artificial lake that was 
formed by damming up the outlet to one of the ravines, 
and on its banks may be seen the black-robed brothers of 
the Order in meditation and study, or the students of the 
seminary who are candidates for the priesthood. We 
also find here the lay brothers who spend their lives in 
seclusion and work the lands that belong to the Order. 
The whole ecclesiastical quarter is, while a part of the 
world, seemingly apart from the world. The casual 
visitor who is interested in this unique community will find 
the brothers kindly, hospitable, and willing to give him 
information about their work. They are happy in their 
environment, and the restful atmosphere of the place is in 
marked contrast to the strife and turmoil of the outside 



Some men stalk big game, some seek for gold, while 
some pursue treasures of an historical character. The 
writer of the following article is an enthusiast of the last- 
named kind, a loyal member of the State Historical Society, 
who describes the difficulties and thrills attending one 
particular conquest. — Editor, 

He was eighty-five years old and had in his possession 
a precious newspaper file which he had preserved, through 
many vicissitudes, for sixty years. This I had learned 
through correspondence with him. At once a mighty 
resolution seized me. I must get that file and deposit it 
in the vaults of the State Historical Society, where it would 
be practically safe forever, and where its rich resources of 
local history would be available to the future student and 
research worker who might be interested in it. It was, I 
reasoned, probably the only file, at least of anything like its 
size in existence, as the paper when printed had a circula- 
tion of only a few hundred, if indeed more than a few 
dozen, at first, and most of the copies must long since have 
disappeared. I had accidentally come upon a copy of an 
early issue of the paper while preparing an article on the 
beginnings of the nationality press in this country. A good 
friend, who also answered to the description of being "a 
great hand at saving everything," had found it among the 
many interesting literary effects of his father and had sent 
it to me. I saw at once that it was much more than a 
mere newspaper of the time. It was a great repository 
of local history pertaining to the immigrants from the 
district of Voss, in that it contained many names of new- 
comers and their destinations, together with notices of 
marriages, births, and deaths among them, as well as like 

A Treasure Quest 


data from the same district in Norway. It was also, as 
it were, a bridge between the old home district and its 
representatives in pioneer America, in that it contained 
short personal letters written on both sides of the sea to 
relatives who might not otherwise be reached by them. 
I realized what a store of interesting information would 
be found could more copies of the paper be discovered. 
The sense of its rarity was the more impressed upon me 
when I found that no mention was made of its existence 
by other historians. Evidently they had not known of it. 

As yet, of course, I knew nothing of the existence of this 
file, but some time afterward I wrote to an interesting old 
man who as a young immigrant had been connected with 
the then intellectual life of the nationality, to get such 
recollections as he might have of the newspapers of the 
time. Incidentally I mentioned that I had a copy of the 
little Vossing paper and inquired if he knew anything of 
its history. Imagine my surprise and delight to receive 
a letter from him stating that he had a practically complete 
file of it covering the three years or more of its existence. 
It was somewhere among the effects in his old trunks in the 
attic and some day, perhaps, I might see it. 

When, later, the old gentleman came to a local sani- 
tarium for treatment, I lost no time in calling on him and 
learning more about the precious file in his possession. 
Again he repeated his promise that he would let me see it 
sometime if he ever had an opportunity to unearth it. 
He informed me that he had a mass of other material, old 
books, letters, clippings, and scrap books in the same 
attic, a further interesting revelation. Doubtless in this 
accumulation were many other treasures of value, but for 
the present my heart was set upon that file. 

The more I reflected upon the subject, the more urgcnl 
it seemed to me that some one should act and that it was 
up to me to do so. At his age, I reasoned, he miglit dn>p 

168 A Treasure Quest j 

off at any time, and with him might go his treasured 
trifles, so ridiculous from one point of view, so rich and 
valuable from another. His sons and daughters at home 
were active, energetic people of affairs, conducting a large 
farm and other activities, living distinctly in the present. 
They might take little time disposing of such effects, once 
he were gone; at any rate, it seemed the part of wisdom to 
deal with the aged owner of them himself, since his interest 
in them could not be doubted. 

At last one beautiful summer afternoon I knocked at 
the door of his fine farm home, and happily enough was 
received by the patriarch himself. A delightful afternoon 
was spent with him. Tale after tale of early days in Chica- 
go was told; how, when the future metropolis had but two 
lines of railway — one entering from the south and one 
from the northwest — the people went daily to meet the 
incoming evening train; how he had packed water from a 
pump on the prairie; of his musical studies and his ventures 
as a publisher of music; of the Great Fire, etc. He also 
showed me over his place and through his gardens, and 
treated me to grapes fresh from the vine. Three times, 
he said, he had been the victim of disastrous fires, first in 
the Chicago conflagration of '71, when all his plates and 
stock of music had been wiped out; next when his house, 
which stood on the site of the present one, had been de- 
stroyed; and lastly when all his grain-stacks and barns had 
once been burned up by a spark from a threshing engine. 
That the object of my quest should have escaped all these 
dangers seemed somewhat remarkable to me. 

Having thus thoroughly ingratiated myself into his 
confidence, I finally broached the object of my visit, which 
was to see and, if possible, borrow his old newspaper file. 
Again he told me it was buried somewhere in the recesses of 
the attic, but that some day he would resurrect it and 
let me see it. I offered to help in the search for it, but was 
asked to wait until some more convenient time. 

A Treasure Quest 


This, of course, did not get me anywhere; but, being a 
newspaperman and trained to get the essential thing 
wanted, I did not wholly give up. There was an afternoon 
train for home, but my host informed me that there was 
also a later night train, and if I would stay for supper he 
would himself drive me in his top buggy to the station. 
Here might be another chance. I accepted, and we con- 
tinued our visit. 

As we sat in the shade of the porch, looking out upon 
the lovely landscape where we could almost hear the 
heart of summer beating in the sunbathed fields and 
meadows, a bank of black clouds came suddenly rolling up 
from the west. In a few moments there was a dash of 
rain. Then one of the daughters came to the door and 
asked him if the skylight in the roof was closed. He believed 
not, and said he would go up and close it. "Would you 
like to see the view from our roof?" he asked me. "It is 
most charming." I should be delighted. So we climbed 
the stairs to the second floor, then up another into the 
attic, where at last, it was given me to see the numerous 
boxes and trunks which I knew contained the family relics 
and mementos and the particular object desired by me. 
From the attic floor a ladder ran up perpendicularly to a 
hole in the roof. Up this ladder we went in the rain and 
then stepped out upon the roof where we beheld a beauti- 
ful panorama spread out before us. I trembled with 
apprehension to see the old man climb this ladder, and 
more so when he stepped out upon the slippery roof and 
closed the window. It seemed to me that a misstep or a 
slip would send him sliding from the roof to a sudden 
death, and my quest and my pleasant visit have a most 
tragic result. But he was more sure-footed tlian 1 bad 
imagined him, and we descended safely to tbe altic floor. 

Now, I felt, was opportunity making her traditional 
and irrevocable knock at the door. I resolved not to quit 

170 A Treasure Quest 

that attic empty-handed without a struggle and without 
exhausting every resource to attain my end. I engaged 
the old gentleman in conversation, and the consuming 
interest I showed in everything about me rekindled his 
own enthusiasm, and almost before he was aware of it I 
had thrown open one trunk after another and hauled out 
pictures, books, old watches, knives, rings, albums, faded 
manuscripts and letters, whose history one after another he 
told me. Finally, from the bottom of one of the boxes, he 
brought up himself the old newspaper file. At last I had 
it in my hands, and I never surrendered it until he indul- 
gently agreed to let me take it along for safe-keeping in 
the great library of the state. Ordinarily I would have 
fled the house at once and the steaming supper awaiting 
us, but my story was not spoiled when I took the chance 
by remaining. My confidence was not misplaced and the 
file remained with me. 



Eldon J. Canright, the author of these letters from the front 
in the great war, was a graduate of the Wauwatosa high school 
with the class of 1912. For several years thereafter he was in 
the employ of a wholesale grocery establishment of Milwaukee. 
In March, 1917, he becam^e a salesman for a firm of manufac- 
turing chemists of Chicago; in May of the same year he enlisted 
in the First Regiment, Illinois National Guard, which unit was 
shortly afterward mustered into United States service as the 
One Hundred and Forty-ninth Field Artillery, which in time 
became one of the units of the famous Forty-second, popularly 
known as the * 'Rainbow" Division, of the American Expedition- 
ary Force. 

Canright received his preliminary training at Fort Sheridan 
during the summer of 1917, and sailed with his regiment for 
France in November of that year. He was soon promoted to the 
rank of sergeant and stationed as a dentist's assistant back of the 
line; but dissatisfied with this situation he asked to be relieved 
and joined the men as a private on the firing line. Save for a 
few days of illness, he was with his regiment on the firing line a 
total of one hundred and eighty days, during which tune the 
Forty-second Division was several times commended for bravery 
by the French government and by our own. Upon the con- 
clusion of the armistice Canright's unit was sent into Ger- 
many, where he remained throughout the winter and spring of 
1918-19. His period of service covered, therefore, the entire 
period of American participationinthewaronthe Western Front. 
For copies of the letters, as well as for the facts here iirosonttxl. 
acknowledgments are due Miss Amy M. Brown of Fairmont. 
Minnesota, a cousin of the writer. In printing the lot t crs, iMit rios 
of an intimate or inconsequential character have not been repro- 



On Active Service with the 
American Expeditionary Force 
November 5, 1917 

My dear Folks: I suppose you have been wondering why I 
haven't written, but this is the first opportunity that I have had, 
as we have been traveling since I wrote you last. 

We had a lovely voyage across the ocean. The weather was 
ideal. There were many exciting and interesting events, but I 
cannot tell you about them. We saw flying fish, dolphins, etc., 
too, but nevertheless we were very glad to see land. 

I am very much in love with France and with the French 
people. The refined or better class are very good looking. They 
have dark hair and eyes and olive complexions, but there are a 
few fair complexioned people. They think the American soldiers 
are kings — everywhere we are treated with the utmost respect 
and courtesy, although they cannot understand us. But they 
have a rather embarrassing habit of kissing you on both cheeks. 
(Of course, when some pretty French girl kisses you, you don't 
mind !) 

Needless to say, I am_ in love with the children. They are all 
very cute and pretty, and I've made several friends, although 
we can't talk to each other. We just make motions and you'd 
laugh to see me trying to make them understand. 

Of course everything here is very different from the good 
old "U.S.A." The streets are very narrow and so are the side- 
walks, and the houses are all built of brick or stone and the 
poorer classes have thatched roofs but some of the houses are 
very pretty although, of course, all of them have high stone 
fences around them. They have lovely yards and gardens and 
everything is clean — much cleaner than in the cities or country 
in the United States. There is really no country here; we think 
of it because the farms are very small, not much larger than a 
truck garden, but are intensively tilled. 

Fruit is very cheap. You can buy apples or pears, all you can 
eat for fifty centimes (10c), but other foodstuffs are expensive. 
Pie is three francs (about 60c in our money) and ice cream and 
candy bars one franc, etc. 

The Letters of Eldon J Canright 


The time here is six hours earher than yours so I am getting 
ready for bed when you are eating your dinner. (I go to bed early 
here for reasons that I can't tell you.) 

Mail is very irregular and uncertain so I don't know when, 
if ever, you will receive this letter. 

I cannot buy good cigars here, at any price, so for Christmas 
all I want you to send me is cigars; send either Tom Moore or 
Robert Burns brand of cigars. 

With heaps of love, I am 


149th Field Artillery, Sanitary De- 
tachment, A.E.F. Via New York 

Somewhere in France 
December 14, 1917 

My dear Folks: I received your most welcome and interesting 
letters just a few days ago, and am hastening to reply as this is 
the first chance I have had to write. Please excuse pencil and 
bum stationery. It's all I have. 

Mail is very irregular here as we only receive mail once or 
twice a month. I am sure if our friends and relatives at home 
knew how much letters from ''The States" mean to us, and how 
anxiously we await mail day, they would not "count" letters with 
us and would feel well repaid for their trouble. 

Blanche asked me if this country looked different from ours. 
Well, it certainly does — no matter where you go, in the city or 
small towns or country. And the French people are just as lovely 
and charming as they have been reported to be. 

I was fortunate enough to get a few days' leave last week, 
so I went to one of the large cities near here and was a gentleman 
of leisure once more, and believe me it sure did seem good! I 
stayed at one of the nicest hotels in the city — had a lovely room 
too. You cannot imagine how good it seemed to slee]) in a real 
bed once more and have clean sheets and a pillow! And to bo 
able to sleep as long as I wanted to in the morning instead of 
getting up at reveille every morning. My room bad a great big 
fireplace in it, too; so it was always warm when I got up. as tJio 



"bellboy" (an old man) always came in and started the fire before 
I got up. The hotel was steamheated, too, but nevertheless they 
used the fireplace. 

They have some very queer customs in this country. For in- 
stance, no matter where you go, even the most modern hotels and 
restaurants serve you a whole loaf of bread with your order, 
and you are supposed to cut off a slice as you want it, which 
would be bad enough if the loaf were small like ours; but they 
are great long affairs, about two and a half feet long (we say 
they must sell it by the yard), and shaped about like a baseball 
bat. So you can imagine how graceful {}) "yours truly" looked 
cutting (or rather trying to) a huge loaf of bread. And with the din- 
ing room filled with French people looking on! They never 
serve coffee with your meals, but you have all the wine or cham- 
pagne you want. They also consider roast snails a delicacy but 
excuse me! However, I wish you could have some of the lovely 
French pastry, as they sure do know how to make delicious pies, 
cakes, etc. 

The trains here are very different from ours. The coaches 
are divided into sections with side doors entering into each 
section. There are about eight sections to a car and each section 
seats six persons — three ride facing forward and three backward. 
The section, of course, extends the entire length of the car, just 
as our open street cars. The conductor does not come through 
the train when it is in motion, but climbs in or rather sticks his 
head in while you are at the station. The sections (first class) 
are very beautifully upholstered and are about the same size 
and the side doors are just like the doors to a limousine. They 
even have the strap for raising and lowering the window! They 
do not have any dining cars on their trains, as they stop at 
certain towns along the way, and everybody gets off and goes 
to a hotel or restaurant. Nor do they have any sleepers. They 
generally stop off at some town over night or just sleep in the 
sections. Their engines are not like ours either, but I'll not 
attempt to describe them except to say that they look like a 1618 
model instead of a 1918. But nevertheless it is very comfortable 
riding on their trains. Oh! yes, I forgot to say that while their 
roadbeds are very well made, still they are not laid out like ours, 

The Letters of Eldon J, Canright 


but wind in and out, and instead of cutting through a hill or 
filling in a low place, they just climb up over the hill and coast 
down into the valley, so one minute the old engine is puffing and 
tugging up hill (sometimes you think she isn't going to make it), 
and the next minute you are going ''hell bent for election" dowTi 
hill! I wish you could travel through this country as the scenery 
is very beautiful and so different from ours. The French are 
very religious and every city or town has a large church or 
cathedral right in the middle of it. Their churches and other 
buildings are very beautiful — have wonderful carvings, paintings, 
etc. As you go through the country you pass the farmhouses — 
always small, stone affairs, but whitewashed and very clean. 
You will see the French peasants plowing with oxen, or perhaps 
driving to town in a great, high, two-wheeled cart with a brake 
on it operated by a crank, just like our old-fashioned street 
cars. It looks funny to see the guy spinning that crank when he 
comes to a hill. Perhaps the car is drawn by two oxen (horses 
are scarce) but, if so, they are not hitched side by side as we do 
but one in front of the other. I rode to a small town near here in 
one last Saturday and was terribly afraid I'd fall out of the old 
thing, but I hung on all right. And always you will see the cider 
press, a huge old-fashioned thing. The poorer people drink cider 
instead of wine and they just dry out the part of the apple that is 
left after the juice has been taken out and cut it into squares 
and use it as fuel in their fireplaces. (Wood is very scarce, you 
know.) Every house has a huge fireplace extending along one 
whole side of the room. Oh! and I forgot to tell you tliat the 
house and barn are all one building. Sometimes the family lives 
upstairs, over the stable, or else they live in one end of \hv 
building and the cattle in the other. But no matter where you go 
the French treat you with the utmost respect and courtesy. 
They are very polite, even the children. 

I have met and made friends with a very fine young French 
soldier. He helps me with my French and I help him witli his 
English. You should hear me (or rather see me!) trying to talk 

France is a beautiful country and the French ]>(m>])K^ are 
charming; but for all that, there are too many thousand miles 



separating me from the good old U.S.A.! We are "strangers in a 
strange land" and there is nothing can take the place of home 
and friends, you know. 

Our camp is situated on a high hill or young mountain and 
we get a very good view of the surrounding country. You can 
see down the valley for miles, and see little towns here and there. 
The houses look like little white spots with the inevitable church 
spire in the center. And you can see the roads winding in and out, 
too. The roads in this country are very good. The trees are 
covered with bright holly berries and also mistletoe. It makes 
me think of the holidays and that makes me homesick. Gee! 
I sure will be lonesome this Christmas. 

One of our men was buried the other day with military 
honors. It was sure impressive. The coffin was wrapped in the 
Am^erican flag and placed on a gun carriage drawn by six black 
horses. The entire regiment marched at half time behind the 
gun carriage. The band played a funeral march and the regi- 
mental standards were reversed. At the grave a volley was fired by 
his and one by the French firing squad. As the coffin was lowered 
the bugler blew "taps." Did I tell you I had taken out $10,000 
life insurance for Margaret .^^ Have you received any notice from 

With much love, I am 
E. J. Canright, 
149th Field Artillery 
Sanitary Detachment 

American Expeditionary Force 
Via New York 

Somewhere in France 
March 8, 1918 

My dear Folks: We are now and have been for some time 
many, many miles from where we were when I wrote you last. 
Yv^e are now at the front and are doing our "bit" for sure. Some 
of us are stationed in the trenches and some of us in a ruined and 
deserted village just behind the lines. There is no one in the 
village but the soldiers and lots of rats. We sleep in empty 
buildings and at night the rats run away with our shoes (at 

The Letters of Eldon /. Canright 


least it sounds that way). We sleep on the floor, too. However, 
I am detailed as dental assistant, so am located in a larger town, 
a little farther back. There are civilians living in this town, 
although it has been bombarded several tim es and many buildings 
have been destroyed. 

We are within range of the guns and can hear them pounding 
away day and night. At night you can see the flashes of the guns 
and when the "Big Toms," as they call them, open up, you think 
sure the buildings are coming down because they shake so much. 
There are no lights in the town at night, all windows, etc., have 
heavy shutters and there are no street lights. Day and night 
the French scout machines fly over the city, constantly on the 
lookout for any German airplane that might try to come over. 
We have had two or three pretty exciting air battles already. 

We wear our gas-masks at all times, or rather I mean, carry 
them, as they can throw gas bombs in this town, too. It is a 
funny experience living in constant danger of shell fire, etc. 
But for all that the civilian population goes about its daily work 
or pleasures, very much as it does in times of peace. You can go 
out into one of the beautiful parks here, any Sunday afternoon, 
and you will see many French civilians strolling through the 
parks and probably an American band will be giving a concert; 
but along the drive where in times of peace automobiles would 
be going, you will see long rows of the "Big Toms" (the large 
guns drawn by motor trucks), and as I have said, you will hear 
the "purring" of the airplanes overhead and also the roar and 
rumble of the guns, and in almost every direction you will see 
buildings that have been destroyed by shell fire. 

There are many beautiful homes and chateaus, as well as 
towns and villages along the front, that have been destroyed 
by the shells. It just makes you sick to see them, «nnd you won- 
der what has become of the people who lived in them before the 

Of course, the manners and customs of tlie i)oo])K^ in \h\s 
part of France are just like they were where we came from, with 
the exception of a few minor details. For instance, Immv. insti ad 
of making their bread in long loaves, jis \hvy do in the other 
part of France, they make them round witli a hole in the center. 



just like a huge doughnut. You can picture me most any after- 
noon strolling along the Rue de , with a loaf of that bread 

around my arm. You carry it by shoving your arm through 
the hole. Savy.^^ The bread is very good and I eat lots of it. 
Another funny custom they have is of locking their doors, by sim- 
ply stepping outside and unscrewing the handle to the outside 
doorknob. They take the handle in with them, of course. You 
see in that way they can open the door from the inside readily 
enough but not from the outside. 

And you should see the way the poor peasants do their 
washing. They carry the clothes to the river and they have a 
board a good deal like our ironing boards. They dip the clothes 
in the river, then lay them on the board and soap them well. 
Then they take another board shaped like a paddle and pound 
the clothes with this board (of course they are spread out on 
the other board). Isn't that a funny way to wash.f^ It's so much 
easier to take a scrubbing brush and use that on them. (I know 
from experience, as all soldiers wash their own clothes. It's 
great sport. Nit.) 

If this war lasts much longer I may bring my sisters a young 
French girl for a sister-in-law! There surely are some charming 
ones here. They have the most beautiful complexions. (They 
are not artificial either.) And their manners are perfect. Oh, I'm 
hard hit all right. 


E. J. Canright, 

Sanitary Detachment 
149th Field Artillery 
A.E.F. via New York 

Somewhere in France 
March 14, 1918 

My dear Mrs. Pierson: I am going to try and describe to you 
what it is like in the trenches. Understand, of course, I cannot 
describe any certain battle, but what I am going to describe 
can and does take place anywhere along our front. 

Try and imagine yourself standing in one of the trenches 
on the "fire control" step, or in one of the advanced "listening 

The Letters of Eldon J. Canright 


posts." It is a beautiful evening, with the stars shining overhead 
and everything is so calm and peaceful that it is hard to realize 
that there are hundreds, nay thousands, of guns and tens of 
thousands of soldiers lying waiting and watching. Perhaps you 
have been on duty for some time and you are tired and as every- 
thing is quiet you look at your watch and it is between two and 
three o'clock in the morning. Your thoughts turn toward home, 
and you wonder what your friends are doing as it is early evening 
there. You wonder if they can see the same stars that you can 
see overhead. Then all of a sudden a rocket goes up, bursting 
over "No Man's Land," casting a red or perhaps a green light. 
That is the signal and then "Hell breaks loose." (That describes 
it so pardon the word.) Guns begin to roar and pound on all 
sides of you — the noise is deafening. You can see the flashes of 
the guns as they fire and you can hear the "whine" of the shells 
as they go through the air. In fact, you can tell when a shell is 
coming toward you as you can hear it "whining" as it comes 
toward you and all you can do is to crouch down and pray God 
it will not strike where you are. If it does it will be "taps" for 
you (as we say), or rather what is left of you! You can tell a 
"high explosive" shell from a "gas shell" because when a high 
explosive shell bursts it gives a sharp "crash," destroying 
everything near it, while a "gas shell" explodes with a "pop,'* 
very similar to the sound a bottle makes when breaking, as a 
gas shell is filled with a liquid (i.e. — gas condensed under high 
pressure, which instantly vaporizes on bursting). Of course, if 
a gas shell bursts near you, you must stop breathing instantly, 
until you have put on and adjusted your gas-mask! Then you 
may have to work for hours with that on. I could write wliole 
pages about the various gases used in this war and their differont 
effects on the human body, but just let me say that they are 
all horrible and cause a lingering and painful death. I pray God 
that if I have to give up my life in this war it will be with a 
bullet and not gas! At intervals between the roaring (^f the 
big guns you can hear the "spit" of the rifles as the infantry o]Hm 
fire and high over head you will hear the purring of the airpl;ni(\^ 
as they go up to make observations, range corrections, etc. And 
the enemy airplanes go up to give battle and you can lioar ihc 



"drumming" of their machine guns as they fight, too. At about 
five minute intervals star shells are sent up. They burst away 
up over "No Man's Land," and hang suspended in the air, 
casting a very bright light over "No Man's Land." And in the 
town behind our lines you will see the powerful searchlights 
sweeping the sky for any enemy airplane that might slip through 
our lines. If one does, their anti-aircraft guns open up, too, 
and then more airplanes come up. And so it goes. 

A day battle is just the same, only our hardest fighting is at 
night. And what makes me sick is to see the wounded horses 
and mules; they do not understand it all and are perfectly inno- 
cent anyway. So you see it is all a game of chance; if no shell 
strikes near you, or no stray bullet finds you, you are lucky, 
that's all. 

Of course you can only stand the strain of the trenches a 
certain length of time. Then you go to a town behind the lines, 
but even there you can hear the distant roar, like thunder, of the 
guns; and the airplanes are constantly scouting overhead. There 
are no lights allowed at night — all the windows, etc., have heavy 
shutters, and there are no street lights. It seems very funny to 
stroll through the town in early evening and not see a light any- 
where — big buildings, etc., but all dark. It makes it hard to 
find one's way around; however, thanks to you, I have the flash 
light you gave me, and I use it constantly. I don't know what I 
would do without it. There are no amusements here, and unless 
one drinks he is out of luck. There are plenty of cafes, but as I do 
not care for that stuff, I spend most of my time exploring old 
ruined chateaus of which there are several on the outskirts of the 
city. They are very beautiful and old-fashioned, some of them 
even have "moats" around them and great iron gates, etc., just 
like the castles you read about in olden times. I often wonder 
what has become of the people who lived there before the war. 
I also like to go out into the woods and fields and gather flowers. 
There are many beautiful ones here. Some that we do not have 
in America. Or perhaps I take a stroll through one of their 
beautiful parks, or play with the children. I know nearly every 
little French kid in town. The little boys love to put on my steel 
helmet and belt, etc., and play soldier, boy like. When they have 

The Letters of Eldon J. Canright 


a gun on their hip they think they are "it." But I wish you 
could see them stand at "attention" and salute. Believe me, these 
little children know what war means ! 

E. J. Canright 

Sanitary Detachment 149th Field Artillery 
A.E.F. via New York 

Somewhere In France 
March 21, 1918 

My DEAR Blanche: I just received your letter dated January 
30, so you see how irregular our mail is. 

You asked me if I had seen any signs of war, etc. I have seen 
many thousands of German prisoners. I saw them the very first 
day I struck France, as they were working around the docks. 
And there are thousands of them in every camp I have been in. 
They do all the building, repairing, etc., around camp. Of course 
there are no prisoners here as we are too near the German lines, 
and they might escape too easily. As for wounded — well, I have 
seen wounded soldiers of every nationality engaged in this war 
(including our own). And you speak of guns and airplanes. 
Gee, I can see and hear them even in my sleep ! I have seen all 
kinds of airplanes and also guns of every size and description! 
And besides all of these I have seen many beautiful homes and 
villages destroyed by bombs or shell fire. 

Last night the enemy tried to break through our lines, but 
I am glad to say he did not succeed. However, I wish you could 
have been here and seen and heard the fighting. 

That reminds me of a little incident. Saturday afternoon I 
was going up town and as it was a beautiful day the aviators 
were out in full force. There had been several rather exciting 
air battles during the day. Well an enemy airplane squadron 
attempted to come over. They succeeded in getting over the 
town so the "alert" was sounded. (That is the signal for every- 
one to get off the streets and seek shelter in the buildings desig- 
nated for that purpose.) Of course, everybody imniediatoly ran 
for shelter and so, just to see what it was like, my friend and I 
also went down into the cave. But we couldn't stand that very 



long; we wanted to see the fun. So we "beat it" altho the people 
thought we were crazy. We ran up the street to the Square so 
that we could get a good view, and really you would have laughed 
if you could have scicn us. All the streets were deserted. You 
couldn't see any French people anywhere, but here lined up in a 
row, like a bunch of "hay seeds" just arrived, were the Ameri- 
can soldiers all breaking their necks to see the fight. The air- 
planes, of course, were right over us but fortunately our airmen 
were keeping the enemy busy so he didn't have time to notice us. 
High overhead, so high that they looked like black specks, were 
the airplanes. You could not, with the naked eye, distinguish 
our planes from the "Boche," but we could hear the rattle of 
their machine guns and could see the bursts of the anti-aircraft 
guns, breaking all around the airplanes. Some bursting in front, 
some behind, some falling short, etc. It was very exciting. Our 
airmen soon drove them back. 

It is the same in the trenches. When the Americans fire 
a shot everybody sticks his head over the gun pit to see if it hits 
the mark — if it does, we cheer, and if it doesn't, we swear — 
while the French all duck their heads when firing. Every Ameri- 
can soldier over here comes from "Missouri," I guess, as they 
all have to see everything that goes on, even though they are 
apt to get "picked" off by some "sniper" when they stick their 
heads up. 

W^e have not had a very cold winter — some snow but not 
much. It is very springlike now. 

E. J. Canright 

Sanitary Detachment 
149th Field Artillery 
A.E.F. via New York 

Somewhere in France 
May 2, 1918 

My dear Jane: I am conceited enough to think that you would 
not recognize me now, as I have been for the past few days just 
covered with mud from head to foot. But, if you could see what 
we have been doing and how we are living, you would under- 
stand that it is impossible for us to pretend to keep clean. 

The Letters of Eldon J, Canright 


I am stationed with one of the most advanced batteries. 
We Hve, of course, in an abri many feet below the ground. The 
abri is Hned with steel and heavy beams and is covered with 
many feet of rocks and earth. It is always cold and very damp. 
The floor is covered with slimy mud and water, even though we 
try to bale it out every day. And, of course, our quarters are 
very cramped as we sleep in tiers, one above the other. You 
cannot sit up straight in bed. If you try to you will bump your 
head against the bed above you. And it is very dark as, of course, 
there are no windows and only one small door, and that does 
not let in much light as it leads down from the trench above. 
However, we have been so busy giving the Hun hell (pardon me), 
that we have very little chance to sleep, and when we do we are 
so tired that we just pull off our boots and crawl into bed and 
go right off to sleep, even though the big guns all around us are 
pounding away so that the air is constantly filled with their 
"shrieks" and "whines" and even way down where we are, one 
can feel the earth tremble from the shock of the guns as they 
fire. Of course, I am here to take care of anyone that gets hurt, 
and that is all I am supposed to do, but nevertheless I take 
turns "standing at the guns" and hauling ammunition, etc., and 
that is no easy task when you consider that we have to walk 
along a long, narrow trench, running from the abri to the gun 
pits. The trench always has six inches to a foot of water in the 
bottom, and on the bottom there may be some slippery, slimy 
boards or rocks, and the sides of the trench are just wet clay 
and mud. And then, to add to your difficulties, it is roofed over, 
which makes it dark as a pocket, and in places it is not deep 
enough to allow you to walk standing straight up, so unless you 
are pretty well acquainted with the position you are apt to 
get some awful cracks on your "dome," but thanks to your 
steel helmet it won't knock you out. You'll just "see stars" for a 
few minutes. One has to be pretty careful when carrying ammuni- 
tion through there. It kind of gives you a creepy feeling wlien 
you think what might happen if you should slip when carrying 
a big shell in your arms and it should strike on a rock jusi right ! 
You would be "pushing daisies up in skeleton ])ark, tout tie 



And then we take turns standing guard on the guns at night. 
We have to watch and be ready to fire instantly in case the sig- 
nal for a "barrage" should go up. I was on watch night before 
last from three o'clock in the morning to six; and last night from 
eleven o'clock to three o'clock this morning. It is very inter- 
esting when you are on guard as you can see the flashes of the 
guns in the different batteries around you and in that way you 
discover batteries that you could not see in the day time. And 
you can see the star shells rise and burst over "No Man's Land" 
every few minutes; and when the big guns stop firing for a few 
minutes, you can hear the bursts of the machine guns. One will 
"open up" away off on your right; then another will start in, 
off on the left, etc. And one feels well repaid for all his hardships 
by the thrill that goes through him when we get the signal to fire 
and the men jump to their posts. Each one knows just what his 
work is. For instance, one cleans the shell and passes it on to 
the next man, and he greases it; then the next one screws in the 
fuse and shoves it in the breech, etc. This all takes only a matter 
of a second or so, and then the gun is fired. The order may call 
for a certain number of shells per gun per minute "at such and 
such a range," but it's great sport to stand there and watch 
our guns give the Hun hell (pardon me again). You have to plug 
up your ears with cotton, because if you didn't the terrific noise 
and concussion of the guns would break your ear drums. But, 
nevertheless, that's when I'm happy. Didn't I tell you that I 
was made a dental assistant right after we left Fort Sheridan 
and kept it until just a few weeks ago.^ I gave it up because I 
want to be here where I can take part in killing off the Huns. 
This is the life, in spite of all our hardships. It's lots of fun to 
watch when the Hun gets scared. You can always tell because 
he keeps sending up star shells so we can't surprise him. Now, 
that I have seen how he has destroyed beautiful little towns and 
villages and made innocent little children suffer, he gets no 
mercy from me. 


E. J. Canright, 

Sanitary Detachi..ent, 149th Field Artillery 
A.E.F. via New York 

The Letters of Eldon J, Canright 


In the Land of the Barbed Wire 
May 12, 1918 

My dear Folks: Sometime ago, when I was in one of the largest 
cities in this part of France, I met a very charming young French 
girl. Needless to say, we became very good friends and when I 
left that beautiful city she gave me a little "charm" which she 
said I should wear, always, and no harm would come to me; so 
I let her pin it on the inside of my coat, just for fun. But I am 
almost inclined to believe it is a charm. When I went on guard 
at three o'clock this morning it was very dark and foggy — 
in fact so dark that you could not see an inch in front of you. 
I was not in the trench but walking on top, and of course you 
cannot have a light — not even a flash-light, because if you did, 
a German "sniper" might see you and take a "pot shot" at you. 
(During the daytime you cannot walk up there at all.) Well, I 
lost my direction in the dark and the first thing I knew I felt 
myself falling — I had walked right on to the camouflage over 
the trench. The trench in that spot was about eight feet deep 
and lined with rocks. On the bottom was about a foot of mud 
and water. And on a short trestle, to keep it out of the mud, 
was a little railroad track — used for hauling ammunition. My 
steel "derby" protected my head from the rocks, and by a mir- 
acle I missed the railroad track and just hit the mud — so I had 
a nice mud bath. I was soaked through and my clothes were 
just covered with that awful, sticky mud! But I was lucky 
at that. I could easily have broken my neck. Of course, 
I was mad and had to "let off steam" by swearing! Here I was 
soaked to the skin and covered with mud and I had four hours 
more to stand guard. You cannot leave your post when you are 
on guard, no matter what happens. Your life as well as the 
lives of your comrades depend on your sticking to your i)ost. 
It was a cold, raw morning, too, but I guess because I was so "liot" 
mentally I did not catch cold. So you see I was lucky nil I lie wny 
around, and perhaps the "charm" did help, and wlien I was 
relieved in the morning I could not build a fire in our ahri as 
you cannot build a fire during the day because tJie Huns could 
see the smoke coming from the chimney, and llieu they would 
discover your location and you would soon be receiving some of 



their "greetings," i.e., high explosives, gas shells, etc. You see 
this is a game of hide and seek — but it's great sport, believe me. 
However, to return to my story, the fellows took a knife and 
scraped the mud off of me and the sun came out about noon, sol 
soon dried off. Now I feel fine. 

We have quite a few shell holes around our place, as the 
Germans shell us once in a while. But really they are doing us a 
favor (although they don't know it) as we have no way of wash- 
ing here excepting in those shell holes. Every time it rains they 
get full of water and we use them to wash in (providing they are 
not shell holes made from gas bombs, as then the water would 
be poison). We do not even cook our meals here — our "mess" 
is brought to us each day. Nor do we have our horses here. They 
are back of the "horse lines." I had occasion to go somewhere in 
a hurry the other day, and I managed to find a bicycle — it seemed 
awfully funny to ride a bicycle after riding a horse so much. 

There is, or rather was, a pretty little village just a little 
way down the road from here; but now it is nothing but ruins and 
deserted. It just makes you sick to go through here and see what 
was once a peaceful little village, with pretty and comfortable 
homes, etc., and now all ruined and desolate — nothing but rats 
living there. You can even see the furniture, and the pictures, 
etc., still hanging on the walls — where there are any walls left. 

It is because of just such scenes as this, that I am the 
happiest when we are giving the "Hun" hell — and we have been 
giving it to him, too, I can assure you. Sometimes when we 
have been firing very fast our guns get so hot that we have to 
pour water down the barrel and place wet sand bags on them, 
etc., to cool them off. But even then you could fry eggs on the 


E. J. Canright 

Sanitary Detachment, 

149th Field Artillery A.E.F. 

Somewhere in France 
May 24, 1918. 

My dear Jane: They say that all good things come together 
and I guess that must be true because yesterday we got paid and 

The Letters of Eldon J. Canright 


got brand new uniforms and had a nice, hot shower bath 
and a shave and a haircut — all of which I was sorely in need of. 
And today we received mail from the States ! 

A few days, or rather nights, ago we were relieved by another 
battery. As soon as it got dark they brought up our horses. 
(You see we had to move at night so the enemy wouldn't see us.) 
It was a beautiful moonlight night — a full moon. We could see 
the road like a ribbon winding down in the valley, below, and 
the woods and fields all bathed in moonlight. It was a wonderful 
scene and one that I will never forget. The road was fine — just 
like a boulevard and lined with beautiful trees. All roads in France 
are like that. I had a good horse and he was feeling good, too, 
so I trotted a little ahead of the rest. We were all feeling good just 
then as we had done some very good work with our guns that 
afternoon. I cannot tell all that we did but I will say that there 
were a few less Huns in the world when we got through. And 
then the beauty of the night affected us, too — why you could 
even smell the flowers growing in the fields and along the road — 
the air was heavy with their fragrance. We rode in silence, 
of course, but you could hear the tramping of the horses' feet 
and the rumble of the gun carriages and every now and then 
we could hear the distant "boom" of the guns or see a star 
shell go up, away off to our left. Shortly before dawn we arrived 
at our destination, just outside of a little village. I just rolled 
up in my blankets and slept out in the field the rest of the night. 
And believe me it sure did seem good to sleep out in the open 
where I could see the moon and the stars and smell the perfume 
of the flowers and breathe plenty of fresh air, after living in one 
of those dark, damp, musty, rat-filled abris. In fact I was 
enjoying it so much, I didn't go to sleep for a long time but just 
lay there and "took it all in." 

I could hear the clock in the church tower, in tlio town, 
toll off the hours. But I did not get up for breakfast. I slo]>t. 
instead. However, when I did get up, I found to my joy that 
there is a river running through here. The water is clear and cold, 
as the current is very swift; but nevertheless we lost no time 
"getting in" and we sure did have sonic fun swimming around. 
I go swimming every chance I get. Then after 1 had got all 



cleaned up, I went up town. It seemed mighty good to see stores 
and houses and people again and children playing in the streets 
and people strolling along the walks. You see I hadn't seen 
anything like that in weeks as there are no civilians or stores or 
houses at the front. (The stores and the houses are all destroyed.) 

As I told you in the beginning of this letter, I got all "dolled 
up" yesterday and I had also been given a gold service chevron, 
so I went up town again last night and had a French Madame 
sew my gold chevron on my sleeve (left), and while I was up 
there I met Bill Tursman (one of our fellows), and as we hadn't 
seen each other in a long time, we went in a cafe and sat down 
and told each other what we had been doing and our different 
experiences, etc. It was just getting dark when I left him and 
started back to camp. When I was walking through the field 
I noticed a little boy and girl driving some cows through the 
field and all of a sudden I heard a terrific crash and saw a puff 
of smoke, just a few feet in front of me! My first thought was 
that the Germans were shelling us ; but then I knew that couldn't 
be it because I hadn't heard the whine of a shell. So then I 
looked up in the sky to see if any Boche airplane was dropping 
bombs, but I couldn't see or hear one. However, by that time 
the smoke had cleared away and I saw a little boy lying all 
huddled up in the grass. I ran to him and saw that he had 
evidently found a hand grenade and picked it up and it had 
exploded. A piece of it had gone clear through his little body, 
entering just below the stomach and coming out the back. I 
knelt down to see if I couldn't stop the flow of blood and to feel 
his pulse. When his little sister saw him lying there all covered 
with blood she began to scream; in a minute the little fellow's 
mother and another little sister came running. When his mother 
saw him she, too, screamed and threw herself on him and 
started kissing his face. But I stopped her and told her she 
mustn't do that. Then she threw her arms around my knees 
and looked up at me with the most agonizing expression I 
have ever seen and just begged me to say "non mort" (not dead) 
"non mort." She kept saying that and his little sisters stood 
there crying as though their hearts were broken. I knew there 
was no chance of saving the little fellow's life, but I picked him 

The Letters of Eldon J, Canright 


up in my arms and started to carry him to the ambulance, but he 
died in my arms; one of his little hands (he was only four) was 
fastened tight around my fingers! He had blue eyes and soft, 
silky, light hair — made me think something of John, his little 
neck was just as warm and soft. I will never forget the little 
fellow as long as I live! My hands and clothes were covered with 
blood and when I looked at it I thought. Oh, why couldn't it 
have been me instead of him. He had his whole life before him, 
but was one of the innocent victims of this awful war. ly 

The news of the accident had spread by the time I got back 
to camp, and the fellows were pretty thoughtful and sober, that 
night. They all began talking about their little brother or sister 
at home — it almost seemed as though they all had one. 

Little children over here ought to be taught not to pick up 
things like unexploded shells or hand grenades, etc., as they 
are very dangerous. I have seen soldiers injured by the same 

Although I have seen wounded and dead soldiers, nothing 
has ever affected me as this little fellow's death — it was so sudden 
and unnecessary. 

But enough of this — I shouldn't have told you about it, only 
it had made such an impression on me — so excuse me. 


E. J. Canright, 

Sanitary Detachment, 

149th Field Artillery 
A.E.F. via New York 

Somewhere in France 
June 18, 1018 

Cher Ami: A few days ago I received a very nice letter from 
your mother and also one from your father — both of wliidi I 
enjoyed very much and will answer in the near future. 

We have been very busy of late, and what little spare time 
I have I use to try and catch up on lost sleep! I think I have 
become quite expert now on sleeping as I can sleep at any time 
and anywhere and under any conditon — I even thiuk T could 
sleep standing on my head! But it's a great life, uevtMtlu less, 
and I wouldn't take anything for the experiences 1 am having. 



The other day we took some guns away up near the front 
line trenches. There was a Httle town down in the valley, and 
we were on the side of the hill, just outside of the town — right 
out in the field with no protection at all (no abris or trenches) ! 
I wish you could have heard the German machine guns firing 
at one of our airplanes that flew over their lines. It sounded like 
New Year's Eve and the Fourth of July, combined! But that 
didn't scare us — we "opened up" and sent over a nice shower of 
high explosives, shrapnel, etc.! It was lots of fun. The old 
Germans got "mad as a hornet" because, I guess, our shells 
were "handling" them pretty rough — ^putting some of the Huns 
out of commission, etc.! So pretty soon we heard the whine of 
his shells coming our way! But fortunately he thought we were 
on the other side of the town, so he shelled the hill on the opposite 
side of the town! (It was one of those little "one street" towns 
that are so common in France.) I can assure you it was very 
interesting and very thrilling to watch those shells bursting 
across from you and knowing that they were intended for you! 
There was one house standing a little farther up the hill than the 
rest and I expected every minute, to see a shell strike and destroy 
that house, as they were bursting all around it — shooting up 
mountains of rock and dirt! The Germans kept that up until, 
I guess, they thought they had completely "wiped us off the 
earth"; then they stopped. 

However, just about sunset and after our airplanes had 
come down, several "Boche" airplanes went up and began 
circling around way up over our heads, and in a few minutes we 
heard the "whine" of shells again, and this time they were bursting 
on our side of the town — just up the hill aways, in front of us! 
At first we thought the Boche airplanes had located us and were 
directing the fire, but I guess they were just trying to find us 
because they began sweeping the hill (as we say), but stopped 
before they hit us. 

I was real good last Sunday night and went to church for 
the first time in months ! It was some church too ! It was held in 
an old and deserted stone quarry — the rocks and walls of the 
quarry were covered with moss and there were even flowers 
growing in the crevices! It was very picturesque. The soldiers 

The Letters of Eldon J. Canright 


sat around on the rocks and ledges — some of them even cHmbed 
way up near the top. The sermon was dehvered by a Y. M. C. A. 
man. It was good, too. 

E*. J. Canright, 

Sanitary Detachment, 

149th Field Artillery 
A.E.F. via New York 

Somewhere in France 
July 1, 19 8 

Cher Ami: We have been touring the country for some time 
now, and I have not received any mail nor had time to write 
for a long time. 

This certainly is a wonderful country and the more I see of 
it the better I like it. There are beautiful winding roads with 
quaint and picturesque little towns dotting the roads, here and 
there, with their red tile roofs and white plaster walls showing 
through the trees. The houses are all built together — that is, 
one is built right on to the end of the other. But there is no 
uniformity as to size — one may be anywhere from a foot to a 
whole story higher than the one next to it, or anywhere from a 
foot to ten feet wider. This gives a very funny appearance — like 
a house built on the installment plan — as it really looks like one 
long house on each side of the street. And always there will be 
one-half of the house occupied by two or three cows and a horse 
or so and perhaps a few pigs and chickens, too. One might 
think from such arrangement that the people would be dirty 
and untidy, but such is not the case. When you enter their 
homes you will find the "pots and pans" all polished and shining 
and the floors, etc., all spotless. In some of the houses they have 
queer tile floors, something like our bathroom floors. 
[ The French are a very hard working people. Those peasants 
are up early in the morning and work until late at night, some of 
them in the fields and some making willow baskets, etc. 

We were biUeted awhile ago in a very pretty town 
right on a canal. It was very picturesque — like the ones you see 
in the movies. Great big trees on either side and a j)ath on eacli 



side for the mules or oxen to walk when pulling a barge along the 
canal. I was even fortunate enough to spend an afternoon on one 
of these queer barges. The bargemen live right on their boats 
with their wives and families — it is their home. There was good 
fishing in the canal too, but I didn't catch any. 

In our wanderings we have picked up and adopted three little 
French boys that we found half starved and only half clothed 
and with no friends or relatives left. They are wearing our uni- 
forms, although they are large for them, as the youngsters are 
only about ten or twelve years old. And we have also picked up 
a whole flock of the cutest little puppies you ever saw. So you 
see we are doing our share. I wish you could see the little French 
boys standing in mess line with their "kits" or see them strutting 
around town wearing spurs and "lording it" over all the other 
little French kids in the town. I'm sure the other youngsters 
envy them. We always give them our odd change so they can 
have a little spending money, too. 

E. J. Canright, 

Sanitary Detachment, 149th Field 
Artillery, A. E. F. viaN. Y. 

Somewhere in France 
July 8, 1918 

My dear Folks: I believe I have told you in another letter 
that because of the fine record we have made since we have been 
at the front we have been chosen for "shock troops." Well, 
we sure are being shocked! J 
Try and picture the very worst thunderstorm you have ever 
seen; then multiply it by about ten thousand and you will get 
some idea of the battle that has been and still is raging along 
this front and in which we are taking a very active part! The 
battle started shortly after midnight a few days ago and has 
been raging ever since! It started with a very heavy bombardment 
all along the front, and as the country here is very level and 
prairielike you can see for a long way, and I can assure you 
that it is some sight at night to see the blinding flashes of the 
guns all along the line — and even away off on the horizon you 
can see the pink glow flare up and die down and flare up and die 

The Letters of Eldon J. Canright 


down again — very much like a city burning in the distance 
would look — and the roar and crash of the guns just seems to 
tear the air into shreds, and the concussion shakes the ground. 
And to add to the confusion you have the whine and shrieks 
of the shells, some coming and some going! And signal rockets 
of all colors and all descriptions are constantly shooting up 
into the air, as that is the way the army "talks" at night. It's 
a wonderful sight! The first night a shell struck an ammunition 
dump and rockets went shooting in every direction; it lasted for 
several minutes and was very thrilling ! 

Of course every little while the "gentle Hun" sends over gas, 
so that we have to be constantly on the alert for it and wear our 
gas clothes most of the time — and carry our gas-masks all the 

We all have cotton in our ears, but, nevertheless, the con- 
cussion of the guns has made some of us temporarily deaf. We 
have not taken off any of our clothes or gone to bed since the 
battle started. When it slows up a little we just lie down on the 
ground, right by the guns, and get what little rest and sleep we 
can. Our meals are brought to us, as we may not leave the 
position long enough to go and get them ! 

The first day they brought down an observation balloon right 
near us. An aviator attacked it and hit it with an incendiary 
bullet from his machine gun. The balloon came down in flames, 
but the observer jumped and came down in a parachute! How- 
ever, about a minute later, and even before the observer had 
struck the ground another airplane had rushed up after the 
machine that "got" the balloon. It was partly cloudy that 
morning and he was trying to get away and hide behind the 
clouds, but the aviator brought him down and he came tumbling 
out of the clouds with his machine a mass of flames. That hap- 
pened three days ago, and the burned and broken aiq^ljinc is 
still lying there, and so are the two aviators! They are an awful 
sight as all the clothes and nearly all the flesh is burned off of 
them. (And what little is left is all charred and cooked!) And 
when the wind is in the right direction (or ratlier wrong direc- 
tion) we get a very disagreeable odor, as there are sevornl dead 
horses, etc., lying out there, too; no one has had time to bnry 
them yet! 



During the daytime there are a great many airplanes flying 
overhead, constantly trying to "see" what the other side is doing. 
We have witnessed some very exciting air battles. It is nothing 
unusual to see anywhere from two to two dozen airplanes fighting 
and chasing each other in and out of the clouds as they maneuver 
to get into position to fire — we can hear the "spitting" of their 
machine guns as they fire; sometimes you can hear them fighting 
when they are above the clouds, too! And twice a very daring 
German aviator flew down over our position and turned his 
machine gun on us! We could hear the "whang and spit" of the 
bullets as they struck the ground, within a few feet of us! He 
flew so low that we could see the black cross on the plane and 
see the aviators shooting at us ! But they didn't stay long. They 
would just shoot down and fire and then away they'd go before 
we had a chance to shoot back at them. You see we are right 
out in the open with no trenches or abris to protect us and so 
are an easy mark for anything like that! And the Huns have 
been sending over "beaucoup" shells, too! So the field around 
our position is all torn up with shell holes — some big ones, too, 
as they have shelled us with their big "220." One of those big 
shells makes a noise like the rumble and roar of a freight train 
going about a thousand miles an hour! When we hear them 
coming we say, "Here comes another of the Devil's fast freights!" 
And when they burst a mountain of rocks and dirt shoots up in 
the air higher than the trees ! They make a hole about eight feet 
deep and about fifteen feet in diameter. And shell fragments 
scatter for about three hundred feet! A shell fragment makes an 
awful wound, too, as it just tears a great hole in you, while a 
bullet just drills a clean round hole ! So you can imagine what 
would happen if one of those shells should get a "direct hit" on 
our position ! 

There is or rather was a little town over in a clump of trees 
near here — now there isn't even a wall or a piece of a house 
standing. There are just broken bricks and pieces of plaster 
scattered around. 

Another thrilling sight is to see the ammunition caissons bring- 
ing up ammunition. Each caisson is drawn by six horses hitched 

The Letters of Eldon J, Canright 


in teams of two, and a man rides the left horse of each team. 
They generally come up just before dark and you can see the 
long line of caissons stretching away down the road, and coming 
at a gallop. The horses are covered with sweat and lather when 
they get here! We unload the caissons in a jiffy and then they 
start back again, at a gallop, as the Huns are apt to shell the 
road at any time — so they are running for their lives ! In fact the 
other night the road was shelled when they were bringing up 
ammunition! The driver swung off the road and came through 
the fields, spurring the horses to even greater speed ! 

This kind of warfare means a great many killed and wounded, 
but nevertheless I prefer it, as it is the only way to even end the 
war — just kill off all the Germans ! 

I have given you details and described disagreeable things, 
but I just want you to know what war is and what it means for us 
and for everyone! 

But I think it's great sport and certainly am glad I'm here 
and taking part in this — one of the greatest battles the world 
has ever known. 


E. J. Canright, 

Medical Department 
149th Field Artillery 
A.E.F., A.P.O. No. 715 

Somewhere in France 
August 1, 1918 

Cher Ami: To say that I am tired would be putting it mild, as 
we have been advancing right on the heels of the Germans! 
And that means, of course, that we have to travel over shell- 
torn roads and through woods and fields — any old way — so long 
as we get there! The weather has been bad lately, too, and the 
roads are very muddy and slippery, and tJie heavy caissons 
sink way in the mud, and they bump and slip and slide into the 
shell holes — sometimes you think they will certainly ti]) over or 
get stuck, but we always manage to get out some way— if a cais- 
son gets stuck the men all take a hold and hel]) the horses it 
out. It is very hard on the horses and on the men, too. mikI 



especially at night because then it is so dark that you can't see 
where you are going — or even see the road! Twice my horse 
slipped in a shell hole but fortunately I felt him going in time, 
so I just took my foot out of the stirrup and slid off of him when 
he rolled over, so he didn't get on top of me. And in some places 
the roads are shelled so bad that we simply can't use them but 
turn off and travel through the woods and that is bad, too, 
because it is even darker there, and you have to watch out or 
some limb or branch of a tree will knock you out of the saddle. 
And so it goes! And when we get into "position" we fire until 
the Huns have retreated out of range of our guns and then we 
advance again, so you see it's pretty wearing on everybody 
and everything. But nobody complains — in fact we are all 
eager to keep going and drive the Huns back. 

We are and have been for some time in territory just recently 
occupied by the Germans. The woods and fields — in fact the 
whole country around here — are full of dead Germans and dead 
horses — the stockyards in Chicago cannot smell any worse 
than the woods we are in right now! Most of the dead Germans 
here are either very young or quite old (the Germans retreated 
too fast to bury them). I have seen some rather pathetic sights, 
too. I found one German who had been shot in the knee and he 
was lying there with a photograph, evidently of his wife and 
two little daughters (they were nice-looking, too) still in his 
hand. But such is war ! 

When the Huns retreated they threw away some of their 
equipment — the woods are full of German ammunition of all 
kinds, hand grenades, rifles, bayonets, steel helmets, mess kits, 
canteens, and even clothes! So at last the "souvenir hunting" 
Americans can get all the souvenirs they want. The Huns must 
have stolen everything they could carry from the towns they 
captured as there is everything from baby carriages to sewing 
machines lying around in the woods and all kinds of civilian 
clothes, dishes, etc., and even tables and chairs. 

Of course, we have a great deal of artillery here and keep 
pounding away at them day and night — the noise is deafening. 
The Hun aviators are constantly trying to slip past our aviators 
and drop bombs on us and swoop down and empty their machine 

The Letters of Eldon J, Canright 


guns on us ! I wish you could be here and see the fun when one 
does get through. Our machine guns open up on them of course, 
and we all have German rifles and "beaucoup" German ammuni- 
tion that we have picked up and we get behind a tree or lie on 
the ground in the open and blaze away at them, with their own 
ammunition. It's great sport, I can assure you. The aviators 
never stay long, you may rest assured, as we make things pretty 
warm for them. 

The other morning just as I was shaving, the Huns shelled 
the woods we are in. Oh Boy ! but they sure did send them fast and 
one hit a tree just next to my bunk (we sleep on the ground) and 
cut the tree right in half. The concussion of the explosion made 
my ears ring for hours, and limbs and twigs and leaves fell all 
over me! I'll admit that for a second I thought it was "taps" 
for me. And do you know what flashed across my mind that 
instant? I thought of the good dinners I have had with you and 
now I would never have another. (You see our rations cannot 
keep up with us very well, so we are hungry all the time — that's 
why I thought of "eats.") 

I used to fear death; but now I've seen so much of it that I 
do not fear it. Of course, I am young yet and enjoying life so do 
not want to die; but if I should be kifled I would not be afraid. 

Another very interesting sight was the towns we passed 
through coming up here that had not been shelled, as the Germans 
had not taken them; yet the people had gone away, as they 
feared the Germans would come — that was before we stopped 
their advance. We stopped in some of the towns and the place 
would be absolutely deserted, and yet the doors to the houses 
were unlocked and when you walked in you found everytJiing 
just as the people had left it— dishes and silverware on tlie 
table and clothes hanging in the closets and sheets and pillows 
on the beds and pictures on the walls, etc., and stoves with tlie 
pots and pans and cooking utensils in the kitchen! And the 
big old "Grandfather" clock in the dining-room, too! The 
people who lived there wfll find things just as they left tliom 
when they return— we didn't take anything. Of course fartlior 
up towards the "front" it was the same old story— houses, 
churches, etc., all in ruins! 



There are French officers and soldiers here with us too. 
I wish you could see them. They are a fine type of men and 
good soldiers, too. For instance, for the last day or so we haven't 
had any bread — and what little we did have was green with 
mold — so this noon the French gave us their bread. They will 
do anything for us! And they sure can fire their guns fast! And 
they "stick" to their guns and keep firing just as we do even 
when the shells are coming our way; and when you hear one 
coming it sounds as though it was going to hit right where you 
are standing — that takes nerve, too! You see we have no pro- 
tection from shell fire and when they shell us, we just drop flat 
on the ground when a shell bursts near us, to avoid flying shell 
fragments as much as possible; and, believe me, they make a 
''wicked'' whang and thud when they go over you and bury 
themselves in the ground! But the next instant we are on our 
feet and "feeding" the guns again! 

Now have I explained enough why I do not write oftener? 
You see what little time we have, when we do not fire, we just 
drop down and sleep right by the guns (we have to sleep some- 
time you know). And we can sleep, too, even though the bat- 
teries right around us are firing — the roar and whine of the 
shells can't wake us ! 


E. J. Canright, 

Medical Department, 

149th Field Artillery, A.E.F. 
A.P.O. 715 

August 2, 1918 

Cher Ami: I wrote you a letter yesterday P. M. but have 
not had a chance to mail it yet. However I am glad of it, because 
last night we had the good fortune to bring down a Hun airplane. 
Several of them flew over just before dark and fired at us with 
their machine guns and we "opened up" on them with our 
machine guns and the rest of us seized our German rifles and 
ammunition and also fired at them and believe me it was some 
noise. But it's great sport and very exciting. Well, you can 

The Letters of Eldon J, Canright 199 

imagine our joy when we saw one turn around and start to 
come down! I saw him just skimming over the tree tops and 
saw where he was going to land, so I started after him on the 
run. They ht in a field but purposely skimmed along the ground 
and ran the machine into the woods to damage it so that we 
couldn't use it — See? Of course, it hit the trees and broke the 
wings and propeller, altho the engine and body were all right. A 
Frenchman and I were the first ones to reach them, and the 
aviators, there were two of them, stepped out of their machine 
and held up their hands. They started to walk towards us but one 
of them staggered and fell. I saw that he was wounded so I 
dropped down to examine his wounds and give him first aid, while 
the Frenchman kept the other one covered with his rifle, as you 
can't trust a Hun — he might have shot me altho I was giving 
first aid to his companion. The pilot was wounded in several 
places, I discovered, after I had taken off his leather headgear 
and goggles and leather coat, etc. He was shot in the shoulder 
and on the leg and then I dug a shrapnel bullet out of his back. 
You can imagine my surprise when he started to speak to me in 
English! He said he used to live in Philadelphia. He told me 
he was twenty-nine years old and asked me if I thought he would 
die, and when I told him "No," he grabbed my hand and thanked 
me over and over again. Then he unpinned and gave me his 
aviator's badge — he said they would take it away from him 
anyway. I have it and shall keep it as a souvenir. I'll show it 
to you when I get back. Well, after I'd fixed him up, I saw that 
the observer had been wounded, too — shot just below the knee. 
It seemed funny to be giving first aid and trying to save their 
lives when just a minute or two before they had been shooting 
at us with their machine guns, trying to take our lives. But I con- 
sider that if I didn't do all I could to save them that I would be no 
better than they were. Of course a big crowd gathered in a few 
minutes and we sent the two aviators to the hospital in an 
ambulance, and under guard. As I said before, if they liad been 
dropping bombs on some city and injuring innocent people, and 
I had got to them first, I would have shot them instead of giving 
them aid; but they were only shooting at us, and wo are "fair 



game," so it was a fair fight, and they should be treated accord- 
ingly. Wish you could have been here and seen it — you may see 
it anyway because they took pictures of it all. 

As before, 
E. J. C. 



I notice in the December number of the Wisconsin Magazine of 
History an inquiry regarding the name of the city of Mondovi, Wiscon- 

As near as I can learn, this name was given to the pioneer settlement 
on Beef River (called by the early French traders Riviere de Boeuf) by 
Elihu B. Gifford, who was born at Scott's Corners, Saratoga County, 
New York, and who came to what is now the city of Mondovi in the 
year 1856. 

Mr. Gifford was well educated, considering the time in which he 
lived, and was an incessant reader. Like a few of the early settlers, 
all of whom were eastern Yankee stock, he was a subscriber to the 
New York Ledger, a weekly paper at that time edited by Robert Bonner. 
This paper was a voluminous publication, and in addition to current 
news always contained a few spicy novels, and generally devoted 
considerable space to history, and it is said that Mr. Gifford, in reading 
an account of the Napoleonic wars in this paper, was struck by the name 
Mondovi, a town in northwestern Italy where a battle was fought 
on April 22, 1796, in which the Sardinian forces were completely de- 
feated by Napoleon. 

Any American visiting Paris and making a careful inspection of 
the inside of the Arch of Triumph will find the name Mondovi in 
fourth place from the top, said list of names being the important battles 
fought by Napoleon in his Italian campaign. 

Mr. Gifford went overland in an emigrant wagon to Spokane, 
Washington, in May, 1878, along with about forty others from the 
httle village of Mondovi. Later he named the village of Mondovi, 

D. A. Whelan, 



I would like to ask if you have an idea where the spot is where Jean 
Nicolet made his visit to a Wisconsin Winnebago Indian villMgo \\\ 
1634. Was it on the shore of Lake Michigan or Lake Winnebago, and 
how can it be reached? I am a descendant of the Winnebago and 
would like to pay a visit to the place. 

Ulysses S. White, 

Green wood 

So far as historians know, Jean Nicoloi was ihc first white 
man to visit Wisconsin, and at that time (1()S4) the Winnoha^'o 


The Question Box 

were in possession of most of eastern Wisconsin. It was not 
until after Nicolet's visit that the Winnebago, in a fierce war 
with the tribes south of them, lost a large number of their war- 
riors. Historians are not able to say definitely just where Nicolet 
first saw a Winnebago village; there seem many good reasons to 
suppose, however, that it was at Hed Banks, on the southeast 
shore of Green Bay, that the village stood where Nicolet landed. 
We have only the briefest description of his voyage, given from 
hearsay by a Canadian historian. He reports that Nicolet came 
up the Ottawa River, crossed into Georgian Bay, and skirted 
Lake Huron to the Huron villages then on its southeast border. 
There he obtained a canoe and five Huron guides, and pushed 
north and west until he found the "men of the sea, as the 
other Indians called the Winnebago. These Indians received 
him as a god, since he carried thunder and lightning (two pistols) 
in his hands. They made a great feast for him. of many roasted 
beavers, and entertained him with the best they had. He made 
a peace between the Winnebago and the Huron, and then re- 
turned the way he had come. 


We have a local county historical society of this county (Blue 
Earth) and have been gathering what material we can with reference 
to its early history. For some eight years during the fifties and early 
sixties a Winnebago reservation was located in this county, and some 
of the chiefs of that nation have bequeathed their names to various 
localities in the county; there is a village by the name of Good Thunder, 
a township by the name of Decoria, and a small stream called Winne- 
shiek, and we have been trying to find some data with reference to 
these chiefs. The only one that we can find anything about at all is 
Chief Decoria; we can find nothing about Winneshiek or Good Thunder. 
They left this county for their reservation in South Dakota but only 
stayed there a short time, and I understand that they returned to 
Wisconsin, to their old hunting grounds there, and that the descendants 
of their bands are still located in central Wisconsin. Does your library 
contain any data with reference to these chiefs or any of them.^^ 

Thomas Hughes, 

Mankato, Minn. 

If you have access to the Wisconsin Historical Collections, 
you will find much about these Winnebago chiefs. The Decorah 
family was the best known of all the Winnebago. (This name is 

British Officers at Milwaukee 


spelled in various ways; we have settled on the above form.) The 
oldest Decorah, head chief of the tribe, died in 1836. He had 
several sons, brothers, and cousins. Waukon Decorah, or Snake- 
skin belonged to the La Crosse band. He was living in 1867; 
probably his family was the one for whom your township was 
named. His descendants still live in Nebraska. Angel Decora, an 
artist from this family, died last year in New York. 

Winneshiek was another prominent chief, with sons of the 
same name. They belonged to the Mississippi River bands. 
Young Winneshiek died in 1887 near Black River Falls. He was 
what was known as a "good Indian." He returned from the 
Nebraska reservation to Wisconsin about 1872. Descendants of 
his live near Black River Falls. 

Good Thunder's Winnebago name was Wakuntschapinka. 
He was in the Black Hawk War, apparently on the side of the 
whites {Wis. Hist. Colls., XIII, 465). 

If you will write to Dr. N. P. Jipson, 4310 Indiana Avenue, 
Chicago, he will tell you where you can obtain more information 
about these chiefs. He is writing a history of the Winnebago 
Indians and knows several of the present members of the tribe. 


In working up the history of Milwaukee, the Milwaukee Historical 
Society has been making research for information as to whether England 
ever had a civil or military officer located at Milwaukee, and also, 
whether England ever had a war vessel on Lake Michigan. 



There certainly was considerable activity at the INIilwaukee 
Indian village during the Revolutionary period, although 
whether an officer was stationed there or not it is difficult to say. 
Charles Langlade and his nephew Charles Gautier de Verville 
were both ofiicers in the Indian department and were frequently 
at Milwaukee when raising Indian auxiliaries and supj)lies. 
There were also at Milwaukee a trader named St. Piorro and 
his nephew Marin (Morong), who aided the British officers at 
Mackinac during the Revolutionary years. Whether either of 
them was an officer or not does not api)ear. The British luui 


The Question Box 

several small sailing vessels on Lake Michigan, partly armed 
as ships of war. One named the Welcome was sent out in 1778 
{Wis. Hist. Colls., XI, 120); another, a sloop named the Felicity, 
was commanded by Samuel Robertson in the autumn of 1779 
(its log is in Wis. Hist. Colls., XI, 203-212). You will find a brief 
notice of Milwaukee in the Hevolution, in Wis. Hist. Colls., %Y111, 
preface, also note p . 375 . The index volume, XXI, under the caption 
"Milwaukee," subhead "in the Revolution," gives references to 
all the material on the subject we have been able to find. 

During the War of 1812 conditions were reversed. The 
Milwaukee Indians, who during the Revolution had inclined to 
side with the "Big Knives" (Americans) were in 1812 strongly 
pro-British. Robert Dickson had a subordinate officer at Mil- 
waukee named Chandonnet. Dickson's letters show that he 
had a great deal of trouble with the Milwaukee Indians (Wis. Hist. 
Colls., XI, 278, 281-82, 289, 293-96, 298, 302-305, 309). Thomas 
Forsyth, Indian agent at Peoria, attempted to influence the 
Milwaukee Indians to side with the Americans (Wis. Hist. Colls., 
XI, 324, 328, etc.), but with very little success. Dickson and 
his men controlled their activities. 

To speak of British officers without qualification as being at 
Milwaukee would be somewhat misleading. The men employed 
in the West both in the Revolution and in the War of 1812 were 
traders, both French-Canadian and British, who were employed 
by the Indian Department and given pay to use their influence 
with the Indians. However, Langlade, Gautier, Dickson, Chan- 
donnet, and such men were certainly in the service and had their 
names on the pay rolls. The Michigan Pioneer and Historical 
Collections publishes more of the documents from the Canadian 
Archives than we have done. You might find additional material 
on these supplementary officers in their files. 


Can you give me any information as to when the Dells of the 
Wisconsin first became known to white men, and what are the earliest 
references to them in print? 

H. E. Cole, 


The Dells of the Wisconsin 


The early history of the Dells is quite obscure. The Winne- 
bago term for the Dells was Neesh-ah-ke-soonah-er-rah — Where 
the Rocks Strike Together. We have been trying without success 
to deternaine who was the first white man to see the Dells. The 
Green Bay traders had trading posts on the upper river by the 
twenties of the last century. We find letters dated from the 
upper Wisconsin {Au haut du Ouisconsin) in 1827 and from that 
onward. Among the earlier traders were Jacques Porlier, Jr., 
who at one time had his family with him; Charles Grignon and 
his younger brothers, Paul and Amable. The latter seems to 
have made the upper Wisconsin his permanent home from 1829 
onward. He v/as the youngest of Langlade's grandsons and was 
for some years a clerk for the Hudson's Bay Company in the 
Athabasca region. He returned home in 1823, just too late to 
see his mother, she dying in October of that year. At that time 
he brought a bride from Mackinac, Judith Bourassa, a kinswoman 
of his grandmother Langlade. It is said he took his wife and family 
goods in a boat up the Fox River to Portage, thence up the Wis- 
consin to Grignon's bend in northern Juneau County. Before 
this there had been considerable passing up and down the river 
for trading purposes. Amable opened a small farm on the upper 
river and sold his surplus produce at Fort Winnebago. Morgan 
L. Martin offered to go into partnership with Amable Grignon, 
to build a sawmill. Grignon secured permission from the 
Menominee, and Morgan from the War Department Indian 
Bureau. But they were anticipated by the shrewd Yankee 
Daniel Whitney, who got his permit and built his mill in 1831. 
In all this enterprise on the upper river we find no mention of 
the Dells. Trading on the Lemonweir River was older, ajii^ir- 
ently, than that on the upper Wisconsin. In 1810-11 Louis 
Beaupre wintered on the Lemonweir {Wis. Hist. Colls., Ill, 268); 
and in 1820 the Grignons were among the Winnebago there 
(M,XX, 156-57). 

All indications point to an early knowledge of the difficulties 
of navigation in the Dells, and to the name having been a]i])li(Hl 
by the French traders of Green Bay and the Portage, but a]>]>ar- 
ently without being recorded in any document. 


The Question Box 

The earliest document in which we find the locality men- 
tioned is a letter of J. M. Street, Indian agent at Prairie du 
Chien, who August 28, 1832, wrote to the Secretary of War 
announcing the capture of Black Hawk. He says (we have a 
photostat copy of his letter) : "The Black Hawk was taken about 
40 miles above the Portage on the Wiskinsin River near a place 
called the Dalle." At the same time Chaetar boasted "Near 
the Dalles on the Wisconsin I took Black Hawk" {Wis. Hist. 
Colls., Vm, 316). 

The maps are even later than the documents in indicating 
the Dells. The earliest map we have found giving any sign is 
that constructed by George W. Featherstonhaugh in 1835 for the 
Topographical Bureau. He has placed upon the upper river the 
following caption: "A narrow passage with lofty mural sand- 
stone banks." Featherstonhaugh did not in person visit the 
Wisconsin above the Portage. His report was thus from hearsay. 
Lapham, in his Topography of Wisconsin (1844), under Portage 
County, says: "At the *Dells' the river runs for three miles 
between Perpendicular cliffs of rock about three hundred feet 
high and only forty feet across. It is said that the gorge is so 
narrow at the top in some places, that one may easily jump 
across it." Lapham's map of Wisconsin, 1845, has "The Dells — 
perpendicular Rock Bluffs 300 ft. high River 40 ft. wide." The 
earliest permanent settlers at the lower end of the Dells were 
Amasa Wilson, C. B. Smith, and R. V. Allen from Galena. 
Allen was living there as late as 1878; he was a famous river 
pilot. For some years Allen's was the only house between the 
Grignons' on the upper river, and Portage. When Kingston went 
to the Lemon weir in the first part of 1838, he speaks of the 
Point Bas trail as being then plain and much used, whereas the 
trail crossing the river at the Dells was untrodden. 


Please give me the name of an authentic history of Wisconsin. 
I wish all possible information concerning Viroqua, the Indian maiden 
for whom the county site of Vernon County (formerly Bad Axe County) 
was named. Was she instrumental in the winning of the battle of the 
Bad Axe.? When and where did she die.? 

J. C. Ken YON, 
Royal Oaky Mich, 

Home of Inventor of Self-Knotter 


We have found an explanation of the name Viroqua in the 
Draper Manuscripts 12F114. Viroqua was the name of a Mohawk 
princess, sister of the distinguished Dr. Oronhyetetha. She Hved 
in Canada, near Brantford. In 1886 she was giving entertain- 
ments in the opera house at that place. An early settler of 
Viroqua, Wisconsin, came from Canada, and no doubt had 
heard the name among the Mohawk on Grand River. 

In or near what Wisconsin city is the farm house of John F. Appleby, 
inventor of the first twine-knotter for a self-binder reaper.^ Are there 
any of the original buildings on the farm which were in use during his 

Allen P. Child, 
Kansas City, Mo. 

John F. Appleby was brought up on the farm of his step- 
father, Marshall Newell. In 1857 Mr. Newell owned two hundred 
and fifty acres on section twenty -three of the town of Lagrange, 
Walworth County. The nearest large town is Whitewater, where 
Mr. Newell died. Before 1873 his farm had passed into the 
hands of John Taylor, whose descendants still own the place. 
If you will write to John Taylor, farmer, Lagrange, Walworth 
County, Wisconsin, you will probably get an answer concerning 
the buildings on the farm. 

Young Appleby early left home, and was living near Mazo- 
manie, Dane County, when on August 5, 1862, he enlisted in 
Company E, Twenty-third Wisconsin Volunteers. We do not 
find that he owned a farm near Mazomanie. He is not listed as 
a farm owner in the census of 1860, nor in that of 1870. It seems 
probable that his boyhood home was the only farm on which he 

Can you give me any information as to the origin and liistory of 
the name Neenah? Am I right in assuming the word Necnali to be the 
name of an Indian girl, and if so is there any possibiHty of obtaining 
a hkeness or picture of what represents her, for reproducing same? 

Hahry F. Williams. 

y email 

The word Neenah is the Winnebago word for watiT. The 
story is told that Governor Doty was once traveling with a 


The Question Box 

Winnebago guide, and pointing to Fox River asked its native 
name. The Indian, thinking the governor meant the word for 
water, replied "Neenah." Doty supposed it was the native word 
for that river, and always spoke of the Fox as Neenah River. 
Afterward, liking the name, he used it for the town. Other 
authorities apply the story to an engineer who was surveying 
for the government in early days, and who in his report gave 
the name Neenah to the Fox River. So far as we are aware, no 
tradition associates the name with an Indian girl. 


The First National Bank of Lincoln has just been printing a semi- 
centennial souvenir. Amasa Cobb, who, as you know, represented our 
old Wisconsin district in Congress for four successive terms, was the 
principal founder and the first president of this bank. He was a mem- 
ber of the Wisconsin Senate of 1855-56. I remember the story that he 
exposed on the floor of the Senate an attempt to bribe him, which 
won him the sobriquet "Honest Cobb." It was said also that this was 
the legislature of the * 'forty thieves." I supposed that the occasion 
was the exposure of the bribery of the legislature by the La Crosse and 
Milwaukee Railroad Company; but that came later. I am unable to 
find any references to the incident in question in the publications of your 
historical society. I think it will not cause you much trouble to illus- 
trate the incident in question very briefly on my behalf. 

I remember also that General Cobb was criticized for his alleged 
drawing of two salaries — one as member of Congress, the other as 
colonel of the two regiments which he organized for the Civil War. 
If the information is easily available, I should like to know whether or 
not he spent much of his time in Congress while the war lasted. I 
should like to know also the date on which he organized each of the 
two regiments of which he was colonel, and the names of the regiments. 
I have data covering these points, but I am not sure of their reliability. 

Albert Watkins, 

Lincoln, Neh. 

With respect to the early career of General Amasa Cobb 
we have found some interesting material. Cobb was a member of 
the state senate for 1855 and 1856. In the latter year a special 
session in September and October was called to accept the Con- 
gressional land grants for railroads. There was a powerful lobby 
for the Milwaukee and La Crosse Railroad present, and it was 
openly charged that bribery was the order of the day. We do 
not find that Cobb made an open protest in the senate sessions; 

Honest Amasa Cobb 


but when the bill was finally passed, October 9, 1856, he "moved 
that the senate adjourn for the purpose of prayer." In the 
Legislature of 1858 an investigation was ordered, and Cobb was 
called before the investigating committee and sworn. His testi- 
mony was as follows: (Appendix to Assembly Journal, 1858, 113- 


Question. — Were you a member of the Legislature of 1856, and if so' 
were you present during the adjourned or extra session in September and 
October of that year.? 

Answer. — I was a member of the State Senate for the years 1855-6, 
and was present at the adjourned session, in the months of September 
and October, of 1856. 

Question. — Were any offers of any stock, bonds or other valuable 
things made to you by any person or corporation during such adjourned 
or extra session, to influence you to support or oppose, or to give your 
aid influence to procure the passage or defeat of any measure pemiing 
before the Legislature, relating to the disposition of the lands granted 
by Congress to this State to aid in the construction of railroads? If so, 
state when, where, and by whom such offers were made. 

Answer. — Some five or six days before the final adjournment of the 
said adjourned session, Mr. William Pitt Dewey, who was then the 
assistant clerk of the Assembly, invited me to take a walk with him, 
and while walking around the capitol square in the city of Madison, he 
(Dewey) introduced the subject of the bill granting the land which has 
been granted to the State of Wisconsin to aid in the construction of 
certain railroads, to the La Crosse and Milwaukee Railroad Company, 
and whicb bill was then pending before the Legislature. During said 
conversation he informed me that should said bill pass, he would get a 
quantity of bonds. He stated the amount that he was to receive, and 
to the best of the recollection of this deponent, it was ten thousand 
dollars. He asked me what amount would induce me to cease my 
opposition and support the bill, or come into the arrangement. I asked 
him why, or by what authority he made the inquiry.? He replied that 
he had come right from Kilbourn and was authorized by him to say 
that I might make my own terms. He further stated that "we had 
had a consultation at the Capital House, and concluded that I, 
(Dewey) being well acquainted with you (deponent), and we having 
been around together a good deal, that I could be more likely to come 
to an understanding, or arrangement with you, than any one else could." 
He further stated that "they were bound to carry it through anyhow, 
and that I might as well make something out of it, as the rest of them." 
This, as near as this deponent can remember, was the language used. 

Question. —"What reply, if any, did you make to his ])roposition? 

(Deponent declined to answer this question; but ui)on the same 
being pressed by the committee, under protest, he answered.) 


The Question Box 

Answer. — I asked him what was the amount of the capital stock of 
the company? He replied, ten million dollars. I told him to say to 
Byron Kilbourn, that if he would multiply the capital stock of the 
company by the number of leaves in the Capitol Park, and give me 
that amount in money, and then have himself, Kilbourn, Moses Strong, 
and Mitchell blacked, and give me a clear title to them as servants for 
life, I would take the matter under consideration. I was strongly 
solicited several different times during the pendency of said bill before 
the Legislature by the Hon. Wm. Chappell, then a member of the 
Assembly, to support the bill; and on one occasion he stated to me, that 
if the said bill passed, he, Chappell, would make $20,000 by it, or out of 
it, and that he wanted to see me do the same. I asked him how I could 
make it? He replied that my position as a senator would command 
that sum from the La Crosse Company, or words to that effect. He 
did not pretend to be authorized by any one to make any proposition, 
but did give me to understand that there was an arrangement to the 
effect, that those senators who came into it should receive that amount. 

Question. — Did you, while a member of such Legislature, or at 
any time afterwards, receive or accept, either directly or indirectly, or 
did any person receive or accept for you, from any person or corpora- 
tion, any stock, bonds, money, or other valuable things in considera- 
tion, or as a reward for your official vote, or your official or personal 
influence in favor or against any such measure or measures, or as a 
gratuity, gift, or present? If so, state when, and from whom. 

Answer. — I did not at any time. 

Question. — Did you have, during such session, or have you since 
had any conversation with any, and what members of that Legislature, 
relative to accepting or receiving, or having accepted or received, or 
having been procured, or expecting to receive any bonds, stock, money, 
or other thing in consideration for voting, or using their influence in 
procuring, or opposing the passage of any measure or bill relating to the 
disposition of lands granted to this State to aid in the construction of 
railroads? If so, state with whom such conversation occurred, and 
what was the substance of it? 

Answer was in the affirmative with bill of particulars. 

This testimony certainly entitles him to the sobriquet "Honest 

Cobb was speaker of the Assembly in 1861 when the war broke 
out, and as soon as the session closed he began enlisting men, and 
speaking through southwestern Wisconsin in favor of volunteering. 
It is said that he urged an early adjournment of the Legislature for the 
purpose of recruiting, and that his example and enthusiasm had much 
to do with Wisconsin's prompt response to the call for troops. May 
28, 1861, he was commissioned by the governor, colonel of the Fifth 
Wisconsin, sworn into the United States service July 12, 1861. The 
Fifth Wisconsin Infantry drilled at Camp Randall, Madison, through- 
out the summer of 1861, and in September was forwarded to Washing- 

Honest Amasa Cobb 


ton, where the regiment soon became part of Hancock's brigade. Its 
colonel was acting commander of the brigade at the battle of Antietam 
and during other lesser actions. December 25, 1862, Colonel Cobb, 
having been elected to Congress from the third Wisconsin district, 
resigned his command. He entered Congress in January, 1863 ; during the 
recess in 1864 Cobb returned to Wisconsin and actively engaged in 
recruiting another regiment. Of this, the Forty-third Wisconsin, he was 
commissioned colonel August 10, 1864, sworn into United States service 
September 29, 1864. During the autumn of 1864 he was in the field, 
returning to Congress for the session beginning in December. March 
13, 1865, he was assigned to the command of the Third Brigade, first 
district of Middle Tennessee, which he held until June 17, being mus- 
tered out June 24, 1865. This record of his military service is combined 
from the Wisconsin roster and Heitman's register. It is evident that 
he did hold two positions under the government from August 10, 1864, 
to June 24, 1865 — Congressman and military ofl&cer. 



During the three months' period ending October 10, 1921, there 
were fourteen additions to the membership roll of the State Historical 
Society. Five of these enrolled as life members, as follows: Walter D. 
Corrigan, Milwaukee; Claude Hamilton, Grand Rapids, Mich.; Dr. 
Liidvig Hektoen, Chicago; Mrs. William S. Hills, Grand Rapids, Mich.; 
Henry D. Laughlin, Ashland. 

Nine persons became annual members of the Society: Edgar G. 
Doudna, Wisconsin Rapids; P. P. Graven, Menomonie; Elmer S. Hall, 
Madison; Walter B. Kellogg, Superior; Judge Jeremiah O'Neil, Prairie 
du Chien; J. W. Pry or, Barneveld; Mrs. Mae Ella Rogers, Crandon; Rev. 
E. Benjamin Schlueter, Markesan; Edward H. Smith, Madison. 


A volume, in French, of the miscellaneous historical papers of 
Benjamin Suite has been published by G. Ducharme, Montreal. The 
special interest of the volume to readers of this magazine, is a paper 
entitled "Au Mississippi en 1362," which is a discussion of the Kensing- 
ton runestone, about which several papers have been published in this 
magazine. The reviewer of the volume for the Canadian Historical 
Review, volume 2, number 3, says that the article on the runestone 
"is mainly remarkable because it appears therein that Dr. Suite is now 
convinced of the authenticity of the runestone, and believes that the 
Norsemen actually penetrated to the headwaters of the Mississippi by 
way of Hudson Bay in the middle of the fourteenth century." 


Professor John B. Parkinson ("Memories of Early Wisconsin and the 
Gold Mines") himseK discourses interestingly of his early life. His 
later career, for more than half a century, has been identified with 
the University of Wisconsin in the several capacities of student, profes- 
sor, vice-president, and vice-president emeritus. 

Joseph Schafer ("Documenting Local History") is superintendent 
of the State Historical Society. 

W. A. Titus ("Historic Spots in Wisconsin: VIII. St. Nazianz, A 
Unique Religious Colony") continues, in this issue, his interesting 
series of local historical studies. 

The author of "A Treasure Quest" prefers to remain anonymous. 

VOL. V A). 




tendent, MILO M. QUAIFE, Editor 



Memories of a Busy Life .... General Charles King 215 

The Services and Collections of Lyman Cope- 
land Draper Louise Phelps Kellogg 244 

Wisconsin's Saddest Tragedy M. M, Quaife 264 

Historic Spots in Wisconsin W, A, Titus 284 

Historical Fragments: 

Visions of a Wisconsin Gold Seeker; More Recol- 
lections of Abraham Lincoln; Vital Statistics 
of the First Wisconsin Cavalry in the Civil War 290 


Some War-Time Letters ; A Letter from Racine in 

1843 301 

Historical Notes 325 

The Society as a body is not responsible for statements or opinions advanced 
in the following pages by contributors 


Paid for out of the George B. Burrows Fund Income 


General Charles King 
boyhood in old milwaukee* 

It may be of interest to refer to the cost of living in the 
fifties in Milwaukee as compared with present day prices. 
Milk was delivered at our kitchen door by a worthy Irish 
woman, Mrs. Powers, at five cents a quart measure. It 
cost considerably more in blood and bodily wear and tear 
on those occasions when I was required to venture down to 
the Third Ward^ to get it when supplies ran short. The 
Irish to a man seemed fond of my father, in spite of differ- 
ences in politics^ the sons of the Emerald Isle being of the 
Democratic persuasion; but between young Ireland and 
young America there was perennial warfare. 

Vegetables, as a rule, were bought at the German 
Market, or at Reed's or Harshaw's on East Water Street, 
nearly opposite the old Walker, now Kirby House. Alex- 
ander Mitchell and Hans Crocker raised the best fruits to 
be found in or about the city, those which came up by boat 
from Chicago being scarce and high. Munkwitz and Lay- 
ton were our two butchers, and a quarter of a dollar, cash 
in hand, would enable me to carry home enough mutton 
chops for the family dinner. Mother's rules sent me early 
to bed, and I started in life as an early riser. When I found 
a dime on the corner of the little washstand in my room, it 

^ In a biographical sketch of his father. General Rufus King, published in the June. 
1921 issue of this magazine, the author has told of his ancestry and of the estabhshmont 
of his father's family at Milwaukee in 1845. The opening installment of the present 
article, relating memories of boyhood days in Milwaukee, is but a portion of a nuirh 
longer statement which General King has dictated, dealing with recollections of this 
period in his career. — Editor. 

2 The old Third Ward was preeminently the resort of Milwaukee's Irish population 
and was familiarly characterized as the "Bloody Third."' In 1850 there wen' sh>?htly 
more than three thousand natives of Ireland in Milwaukee, in a total population of 
twenty thousand. The Irish at that time far outnumbered every other alien group m 
Milwaukee except the German-born. — Editor. 


General Charles King 

meant whitefish for breakfast, and as soon as I had dressed 
I would trudge away to the head of Mason Street, and there 
find the fishermen's boats just in from Whitefish Bay. 
That dime would give me the choice of the biggest and finest 
fish, many of them still flopping about in the bottoms of the 
boats. The fishermen would run a stout cord through 
the gills, loop it over the end of the big stick I carried for the 
purpose, and then with that stick over my shoulder, I would 
lug homeward the prize of the lot. Three dollars would 
hardly buy such a fish today. 

Before quitting the old King's-Corner crowd, ^ let me 
tell you how they ''sized up'' in later life. It is worth the 
telling. "Rude" were we, perhaps, "in speech" and sports, 
neither blasphemous nor obscene, but certainly unpolished, 
and many a time did mother point out to me the inelegance 
of our language. One day a discussion, somewhat heated, 
was going on, and in the midst of it a dear old lady descended 
upon the group. She was my Sunday-school teacher and I 
honored her, but most of the crowd knew her only by name. 
Earnestly and impressively she addressed herself to the 
gang in general, to the excited debaters in particular, where- 
at, in his mingling of chagrin and embarrassment, the 
curly-headed future lieutenant general^ of the Army burst 
into a guffaw of laughter, and the main culprit, the blue- 
eyed, fair-haired future rear admiraP of our Navy stuck his 
tongue in his cheek, twiddled his thumbs and dared to wink 
at his nearest neighbor. It was too much for our lady's 
dignity. Turning abruptly, she entered our house and, 
addressing my mother by the name only Albanians and 
intimates called her, said, impressively, "If you don't get 
your boy away from this Godless, graceless gang and send 

' The family residence, which gave name to "King's Corner," stood at the northeast 
comer of Mason and Van Buren streets. — ^Editor. 
* General Arthur MacArthur. — ^Editor. 

^ Rear Admiral James K. Cogswell. As executive officer under Captain Clarke, 
he brought the Oregon around South America from San Francisco to Santiago to share 
in the destruction of Admiral Cervera's fleet in the battle of July, 1898. — Editor. 

Memories of a Busy Life 


him where he can be among gentlemen, you will rue it to 
your dying day." 

In September '58 I was divorced from the "gang/' 
so-called, and in course of time entered Columbia College, 
New York, and of the forty very excellent young gentlemen 
matriculated with me at Columbia, not one, either in 
national, state or municipal affairs, ever won distinction; 
whereas, of the "Godless, graceless gang" who gathered day 
after day at the old corner, or were inclose touch with us, one 
rose to be a senator of the United States, four of them 
generals in our Army, one of the four (MacArthur, my 
chum and next-door neighbor from '54 to '58) becoming 
lieutenant general, the highest rank then attainable. Two 
became rear admirals of the Navy, one became head of the 
Society of Physicians and Surgeons of Connecticut. Three 
became eminent in the law (one of them a judge at Duluth) ; 
one a great insurance man, a prominent author and leader 
of affairs in New York City. Three others, gallant fellows 
whose names should not be forgotten, fell, heading their 
companies ("Mandy" Townsend and Billy Mitchell) or as 
regimental adjutant (Wilkie Bloodgood). Still another 
was shot dead in the charge at Fredericksburg (John Park- 
inson). Another still (one of the staunchest fighters of our 
number in boy days), after serving as lieutenant of artillery 
in our great war, became eminent in science, especially biol- 
ogy, George Peckham. Others prospered in business and 
social affairs, as did the Cramers, and only two or three 
never seemed to amount to much. Now, how do you 
account for that.^^ 

In connection with days at Anthon's school" in Now 
York, where I finished my preparation for Columbia, tliort^ 
is one point worth mention. My allowance, spending monry, 
etc., was fifty cents per week, paid on Saturday, out of which 

« Professor Charles Anthon, a noted classical scholar of his day. was professor of 
Greek and Latin at ('olmnbia and head of the grammar school then attached to the 
college. — Editor. 


General Charles King 

I was expected to buy my shoes, gloves, and luncheons. If it 
had not been for the thoughtful kindness of a young uncle, 
one of the first of our tribe to give his life in the Civil War 
days, I should have fared very ill. As it was, I seldom wore 
gloves, I speedily wore out my shoes, and my lunch was 
often only a doughnut; but we had famous breakfasts and 
dinners at my grandfather's table, ^ and my grandmother 
wondered at my appetite. 

Returning, however, to those Milwaukee days, before 
saying good-bye to them as far as boyhood was concerned, 
I should say that documentary evidence in our possession 
goes to prove that before my fifth birthday maternal castiga- 
tions were frequent and deserved. In a letter to father, 
who was in Washington in April, 1849, written presumably 
by request, but from my dictation, by Norman J. Emmons, 
it appears that I had been soundly whipped the previous 
day, "which made me a good boy ever since." As this 
covered a period of twenty-four hours, the reformation lasted 
apparently longer than usual. There seemed to be no 
limit to the mischief into which my propensity for explora- 
tion would lead me, and in father's absence, nurse, cook, 
even my Spartan mother, were sometimes too few to frighten 
such an arrant young vagrant. On the other hand, when 
he was at home, all that father had to do, no matter how 
furious a tantrum might be going on, was simply to order 
"Attention," and kicks and screams ceased at the word. 
I owed instant soldier obedience to my soldier father and 
accorded it to no one else. 

Continuing that letter: "Yesterday I ran away, taking 
the two Cady boys wiv me way down to Higby's pier. I 
took them wiv me so I would not get lost." And as Higby's 
pier was about opposite Huron Street, and we lived on 
Mason, the adventure called for stern reprisals. Yet it 
wasn't forty-eight hours before the next excursion, and this 

^ Charles King, president of Columbia College. — Editor. 

Memories of a Busy Life 


time I was seized by father's partner, Mr. Fuller, aided by 
the Mr. Emmons aforementioned, and borne kicking and 
struggling into the cellar, and there headed up in an old 
apple barrel, an episode the neighborhood did not soon 
permit me to forget. 

Two months later we were at West Point — father, mother, 
sister, nurse and I — ^and then came the change, possibly 
for the better. Between General Scott, the tallest and 
most martial figure at the Academy, the stately drum 
major, and the soldierly cadet adjutant (Quincy A. Gilmore) 
I could not quite decide, but one of the three it was my 
daily habit from that time on to personate, I am told, for 
several years thereafter. It was 1851 before I could care 
for anything else except the fire department. Then Alex- 
ander Mitchell gave me my first lift in life — to the back of 
a villainous, little, black Shetland stallion, who had more 
tricks and vices than any four-legged brute I ever afterward 
knew. Beppo and our beautiful black Newfoundland, Nero, 
came to me about the same time. 

In those days New Year's calls were made by every wide- 
awake citizen on all the ladies of his acquaintance, beginning 
somewhere about midday, and keeping it up, sometimes 
repeating, until dark. Housewives made ample prepara- 
tion for this annual visitation; a bounteous table was 
generally set and a sideboard or table with its bowl of punch, 
its decanters of sherry, Madeira, and spirits. Whiskey was 
too cheap and plebeian a drink for such occasions (it retailed 
for something like forty cents a quart and cost less, probably, 
than ten cents a gallon), but old Otard brandy was much in 
demand. Father had some rare old Madeira tliat had 
been in the cellars of his grandfather when the latter was 
United States minister to England. By early afternoon on 
New Year's day many prominent citizens would bo able 
no longer to distinguish between sherry and Madeira or 
between good wine and bad, and mother did hate to see that 


General Charles King 

fine Madeira wasted. A few years and it was all gone, all 
but two boxes of a dozen bottles each that had been espe- 
cially set aside and labeled, never to be opened until the 
weddings of myself and my sister, and nothing would induce 
mother to permit that wine to be used. 

She might just as well have done so, for, with father's 
books, papers, and some of the old family relics, those 
boxes were stored on the second floor of Mr. Emmons' barn, 
which stood in the alley way between Mason and Oneida 
streets, and Van Buren and Cass, when, father being with 
the Army in Virginia, mother and sister in New York, and 
I at West Point, the King's Corner residence was occupied 
by Robert Eliot. One wintry night thieves broke into 
the barn from the alley way, dumped into a sleigh such of 
the books and belongings as they thought they could sell, 
drank what they could of that priceless Madeira, and then 
in sheer, brutal wantonness, dashed the other bottles to bits 
against the walls. There was no wine at our weddings, at 
least at mine, that could compare with that hundred- 
year-old Madeira. 


About my appointment-at-large to West Point in 1862 
various versions have been published in Wisconsin papers. 
I had almost begged in 1860 that grandfather should ask 
President Buchanan for me, as the President was permitted 
that year to name rather an unusually large number to 
enter in 1861. I longed to go. I was just sixteen and fully 
fit to pass the examination, but grandfather and mother 
had had their visions of the law, and certain elderly, maiden 
aunts of mother's had long been insistent that I should be 
educated for the ministry, whereas the only career for which 
I ever had the faintest aptitude was that of the soldier. 

They might far better have yielded in 1860. It would 
have made a vast difference in my future fortunes, because 
between the graduation of the classes of 1865 and 1866 the 

Memories of a Busy Life 


Army was filled up with volunteers from civil life. In '65 
the West Point cadets were all graduated as first lieutenants 
and several of them became captains in two years. We 
who were graduated in '66 entered at the foot of the list of 
second lieutenants, and many of our number marched 
meekly in the line of file closers until they were grandfathers. 
Some men in my class did not receive their captaincy until 
they had served as lieutenants for thirty years or more. 
Had my mother dreamed of this, I have not a doubt she 
would have consented long before she did. Father, however, 
would say nothing, because he and I both realized that we 
were under obligations to my grandfather, who was pre- 
paring me for and sending me through college. All the 
same, he knew my longing and sympathized with me. 

The war settled it, and after my few months with bri- 
gade headquarters at the front, ^ grandfather and mother 
both changed their views, and Lincoln was importuned 
on my behalf at a time when he had thousands of applica- 
tions for the ten cadetships in his gift. Nevertheless mine 
was promised me through Secretary Seward late in the fall 
of '61, yet when the names were announced in March, '62, 
that of William H. Upham, of Wisconsin, appeared instead 
of mine. Upham had been shot through the lungs and 
left for dead on the field of first Bull Run, when his regi- 
ment, the Second Wisconsin, fell back with the rest of the 
defeated army; was mourned as dead at his Racine home, 
yet after a time in Libby prison, he recovered of his des- 
perate wound; was sent back to Washington, exchanged, 
and with Senator Doolittle to champion his cause, begged 
the President to send him to West Point. He would be 
twenty -one in August. He must enter in June or not nt all. 
Such was the law. I was only seventeen and could allonl 
to wait three years, if need be, and what was my claim 

8 On this service see the writer's aecoiint in I lie June. 1f>i?l issnrof this ninfrnfinc— 

General Charles King 

beside that of a wounded hero of our first big battle? Father 
was then commanding his division far out at the front, but 
the President knew what his answer would be if the ease 
were referred to him : his boy would step aside at once that 
the more deserving applicant should have the prize. 

It almost broke my heart, but I wrote a glowing, boyish 
letter to Secretary Seward to say that if it had to be done 
again, I would never stand in the way of any Wisconsin 
soldier who had such claims as Upham; that letter was 
shown to the President, what he said I shall not record 
here beyond this: "That boy goes to West Point the first 
chance I get," and that chance came in May. It was 
found that one of his appointees was just too young. In- 
stantly he turned to Mr. Seward, as he said, "Get the 
address of General King's youngster." Long years after- 
wards there was found in the files at the War Department 
and sent to me, in Secretary Seward's own handwriting, 
the original of the despatch: "To General Rufus King, 
Fredericksburg. Send your son's full name and address to 
General Thomas [General Thomas was then the Adjutant 
General of the Army] for West Point." Two days later 
my grandfather delightedly handed?the formal War Depart- 
ment document to me. And so it resulted that among 
Lincoln's ten appointees that beautiful June, Wisconsin 
had two representatives, and Upham and I entered together. 
Moreover, we were graduated higher on the final roll in '66 
than any others of that immortal ten, several of whom, 
however, failed entirely, among them the son of one of 
Lincoln's cabinet,^ another the son of a famous admiral,^^ 
another the nephew of a most distinguished senator, another 
still a wonderful fellow, who, it was claimed, had walked 
barefoot all the way from Lake Champlain to Washington, 
to see the President in person and tell his story of years 

r :: ^ The allusion is to Attorney-general Bates. — Editor. 
Admiral Worden. — Editor. 

Memories of a Busy Life 


of hardship and struggle. But, poor fellow, though he got 
the appointment, he never could "see any sense in Algebra,*' 
and had to drop out. 

President Lincoln's only visit to West Point was paid one 
beautiful day in June, before his appointees were in uniform. 
He came to the Point, he said, to pay his respects to General 
Scott, who was living there in retirement, then he strode over 
to the barracks and sent for his ten boys. Tall, angular, 
and ungainly, as said some spectators, with a silk hat of 
exaggerated height, nevertheless, when he put his great 
hand on my head and looked kindly down into my flushed 
and boyish face, saying, "Well, son, you have got your 
wish at last," I could well nigh have worshipped him. It 
was my last look at that indescribable face. But on a mild 
April morning three years later, I stood on the stone post of 
the old sun-dial in the area of the cadet barracks and read 
aloud to the corps of cadets the details of the President's 
assassination the night before at Ford's Theater. One or 
two officers had passed among the boys saying, "Go to your 
quarters. Go to your quarters. This is all irregular" — 
as it was,. It was the first and only time in my life that I 
ever saw an instance of an officer or instructor at West 
Point being utterly ignored by the cadets. The word had 
gone round that Lincoln had been assassinated, and at last 
an officer handed me the newspaper, saying, "Read it to 
them." I shall never forget the scores of white and grief- 
stricken young faces staring up at me as I read through 
those three columns; but at the end I broke away, ran to 
my room, and throwing myself down upon my bed, cried 
like a child. 

The end of June found us Fourth classmen in cam]), most 
of us in uniform. The entrance examination in those days 
was a bagatelle, so far as mathematics, geography, grammar, 
and knowledge of English were concerned — purposely so 
that the poorest lad might have an equal rlianco with 


General Charles King 

the son of the wealthy; but on the other hand, the physical 
requirements were exacting. Army life in the old days 
called for a sound constitution and sturdy physique. 

In July my dear old grandfather made his appearance, 
and beamed with delight to see how well I looked. "It 
is the very place for you,'* said he. How I wished he 
might have been able to realize that two years before ! Then 
in September my mother came. It was her first visit to 
West Point since '49 ; but the old hotel was unchanged, and 
the band was almost as good as it had been in days when it 
was not so easy to lure our best musicians away, with 
promise of better pay and employment. The old leader had 
greatly admired her piano playing, and had arranged for her 
two of the finest marches that were in great vogue at 
the end of the Mexican war, but in '62 they were out of date 
and forgotten. ''It is the very place for you," were her 
words, before she had been there half an hour, and yet 
how long she had fought against my going! 

Her greatest concern was whether the cadet pay of $30 
a month was going to be sufficient to keep me out of debt. 
Before the war a cadet could live on it in spite of the fact 
that out of that $30 he had to pay for barbers, baths, belts, 
bedding, board (never less than $15 a month), books, brushes, 
caps, clothing of every kind, dancing lessons, gloves, gaunt- 
lets, shoes, shoe-blacking, drawing instruments, colors, 
crayon, paper, everything in fact, except room rent, fuel, 
and medical attendance. We were taxed for the band 
fund, barrack furniture, lithographing, hops (the evening 
dances held thrice a week in July and August only) ; and as 
prices began to bound in '61 and to soar in '62, while gold 
reached $2.90 in '63 or '64, mother's fears were well founded. 
Our uniform coats cost $11 in '62 and $33 a year later — 
an inferior gray cloth at that. Uniform shoes were $2.66, 
made to order and a perfect fit, in '62, but were up to $6 and 
$7 within another year. Mother had reason to worry. 

Memories of a Busy Life 


Nothing but her wonderful economy and management had 
carried us through the dismal year or two that followed 
the panic of '57, which wrecked the Sentinel and my father's 
fortunes. Indeed, throughout all the years that followed 
it was her clear vision and business head that enabled him 
to meet the cost of a diplomatic career at Rome on a salary 
of $7,500 a year. We owed everything to her, as father 
wrote, admiringly. 

By the autumn of my second year at West Point, $30 
a month would no longer begin to provide for the needs of a 
cadet on military duty. Two-thirds of the corps were so 
much in debt that they could not even buy shoes, and 
had to be excused from all military duty. Parades and 
drills had been suspended because of this fact, and for the 
first time in the history of the Academy, cadets were au- 
thorized to send for and receive money from home, to 
help them out of their financial plight. 

The pinch of poverty had begun to be felt the previous 
year, when a strange occurrence marred the rigid routine 
of West Point's military system. Our doors had no locks. 
We lived two in a room, in the gray stone barracks, some 
rooms, indeed, had but a single occupant. No one but 
cadets, the officers on duty over them, the Irish servitors 
who scrubbed out the floors, and the drum boy * 'orderlies" 
were permitted to enter the barracks, yet in the autumn of 
'62 thefts of money, watches, drawing instruments, etc., 
were of frequent occurrence. A kleptomaniac was at work 
in "A" Company; it was not long before he was caught, 
confessed, and, under the care of a guard of three or four 
dragoon troopers, was escorted to the south dock. There 
he was overtaken by a daring party of a dozen cadets, of the 
First, Second, and Third classes, headed by the cadet adju- 
tant — ^a splendid, soldierly fellow from Indiana. The guards 
were overpowered, the prisoner taken from them, tarred and 
feathered, and turned loose. It created a profound impres- 


General Charles King 

sion at the time and bore fruit later. The adjutant, my 
great admiration then and to his dying day, was reduced 
to the ranks, and became my file leader in Company "A." 
The cadet who succeeded him as adjutant was a devout 
Christian, and became one of the professors of the Academy 
and was long one of its leading spirits as well as one of 
my warmest friends. He followed the culprit by letter, 
urged him to conquer his propensity, aided him in the 
gradual restoration of every dollar's worth he had stolen, 
brought about his entire reformation, and several years 
later saw him again upon his feet, a respected citizen, in- 
vited to West Point to receive the right hand of fellowship 
of certain ofiicers there on duty who as cadets had been the 
victims of his malady in '62. 

In the spring of 1863 two members of my class were sud- 
denly and summarily spirited off the post and dropped 
from the rolls of the Academy, one of them for having 
helped himself to some note paper, the other for more 
varied bits of petty larceny; and then it was two years or 
more, the summer of '65, after Appomattox and peace 
before we had to face that situation again. During the sum- 
mer encampment, the complaints of stolen money and 
valuables became so frequent that the commandant finally 
sent for the five cadets highest in rank in the battalion, 
the four captains and the adjutant, and impressively 
addressed them: "This thing is a disgrace to you," he said, 
"and in my time we never would have rested until we had 
discovered the culprit and given him a coat of tar and 
feathers." It stung us to renewed effort. All manner of 
devices were resorted to. A number of treasury notes con- 
tributed for the purpose, five and ten dollar bills, were 
secretly marked, and these left as bait, promptly disap- 
peared, still we found no trace of the culprit. It was not 
until the corps returned to barracks in September that the 
thefts ceased for a very short time, and then later in the 

Memories of a Busy Life 


fall began again; once more the commandant harangued 
some of the cadet officers, when again our efforts were 
renewed. Again we marked a few five and ten dollar 
treasury notes, and left them on the open shelves of our 
soldier's substitute for bureaus — the clothes press — ^and they 
quickly disappeared. 

"If you young men cannot discover the culprit," said our 
commandant, "no one else can." Then came to me one of 
the most painful experiences of my life. I had marched 
as rear rank man from the early autumn of '62 until June, 
'63 of the model soldier of the cadet battalion — he, who as 
adjutant had been the leader in the tarring and feathering 
episode of September, and had suffered reduction to the 
ranks. I was now, as adjutant of the corps in 1865 to fol- 
low still further in his lead. 

With the class that entered in June, '63, came a few 
young men who had seen service with the volunteers at the 
front. One of these throughout the two months of camp had 
occupied the tent next to mine in the street of Company 
"A." In those days the newcomers were always required 
to make up the tents and bedding of the upper classmen, to 
see that the water buckets were filled, the rifles and brasses 
polished, etc.; this particular "plebe" had to do his share, 
but never for me. Having been at the front myself, I 
could not exact service of such men. He was a burly 
fellow, strong and heavily built, and toward the end of the 
camp had quite a following among his classmates. 

In July we had had an excitement. The great draft 
riots were in full swing in New York, and such regular 
soldiers as we had in the engineer, cavalry, and artillery 
detachments had been hurriedly sent to the threatened city, 
leaving the Academy to be guarded by the First, Third and 
Fourth classes of the cadet corps, and a score of superan- 
nuated veterans. The Second class was away on cadet 
furlough, the Fourth not yet fully in uniform. The First 


General Charles King 

was only twenty-seven strong, the Third was only about 
sixty, when the commandant received the startling news 
that a number of Southern sympathizers had chartered a 
steamboat in New York, and, several hundred strong, 
were coming up the Hudson that very night to burn and 
destroy the Academy. They were to be aided by the draft- 
resisting miners at Cornwall, just above us, and the foundry- 
men at Cold Spring, across the river. 

Our 12-pounder "Napoleon" guns were at once run 
down to the north and south docks, with shell and shrapnel 
in abundance. Cadet Captain Allen was detailed to 
command the north, and Cadet Lieutenant Mackenzie 
(Wisconsin born) selected for the south dock, each author- 
ized to pick the cadets to the number of one corporal and 
twelve privates, to man these guns and guard the docks, 
while the rest of the little battalion remained midway be- 
tween them at camp, furnished, for the first time in Wei^t 
Point history, with ball cartridges for action. The corporal 
chosen by Mackenzie was Arthur Cranston, who had 
served in an Ohio regiment in western Virginia. The 
corporal chosen by Captain Allen, to the surprise of almost 
everybody, certainly myself, was myself, about the youngest 
looking lad that wore chevrons in the cadet battalion. 
We had a night of thrilling expectation, but the attack was 
called off. The incident, however, started me upward on 
the ladder of promotion, and to my surprise, seemed to 
anger the new cadet in the adjoining tent. I had treated him 
with entire courtesy, but his manner to me became ugly and 
truculent, if not threatening. 

Three months later, a number of young officers and non- 
commissioned officers of volunteers were selected by the 
generals at the front to fill the vacancies of the southern 
congressional districts. Many of them came in uniform, 
and among them, along in October, to my delight, was 
Charley Powell, whom I had left at Chain Bridge, a corporal 

Memories of a Busy Life 


in Company ''B/' Fifth Wisconsin (the Milwaukee Zou- 
aves), who, after all the fighting on the Peninsula, at Antie- 
tam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg, 
had risen to be sergeant major of the Fifth; in the uniform 
of that grade he reported at West Point, and the very 
night of his arrival I sought him out and took him to 
my room for a chat. Fourth classmen in those days never 
entered the room of an **old cadet," except by invitation, 
and I was astonished and indignant when presently there 
burst into my room three or four Fourth classmen, led by this 
truculent next-tent neighbor of camp days, and it was he 
who ordered this sergeant major, his superior still in mili- 
tary rank, for they were ''conditional" cadets only, and the 
guest of their senior in the cadet battalion, a non-commis- 
sioned ofiicer at that — to stand attention and salute his 
betters. In an instant I had hustled them out, giving the 
leader an especial tongue lashing, which he bitterly re- 

"I always hated you," he said, "from the day they 
made you a corporal," and yet to classmates of his own who 
pointed out to him that he had been treated with far 
more consideration than he deserved, he admitted that he 
could give no reason for his antipathy. 

Except when on duty, I never spoke to him again. A 
year later I had become first sergeant of that company 
wherein he was still a private; by that time he had made 
many enemies in his own class. A number of them 'Vut 
him dead," as was the expression, and when he came back 
from cadet furlough in 1865, he could find no man to live 
with him. He had deliberately forced a quarrel upon one of 
the most courteous and gentlemanly of his classmates, 
and in the fight that ensued, with liis brutal strcngtlt had 
hurled his slight opponent to the floor, and then, ai)])lying 
an epithet that is never tolerated at West Point, had said, 
'*Now I have got you where I've been meaning to got 


General Charles King 

you for a year past," and was proceeding to hammer 
him, when dragged off and in turn set upon by a man of his 
own weight, and from that day stood degraded in the eyes 
of the entire corps; his classmates, especially, held him in 

Then one day when the battalion was at dinner, a 
member of his class searched that unfortunate's room and 
found some of the marked money secreted between the 
leaves of his dictionary. The cadet officers, except the 
officer-of-the-day, were instantly assembled, and selected a 
captain, a first lieutenant, and an especially popular and 
prominent cadet private of the senior class to confront 
the friendless man with the evidence and hear his defense, 
if he had any. I could have wished that the council had 
chosen three of our brainiest — the men highest in scholar- 
ship and in years. But in ten minutes the examiners were 
back, all excitement. The man was guilty beyond all 
doubt, they said. He had denied the thefts, but had con- 
tradicted himself in a dozen ways and had obviously lied over 
and again. Then came the recollection of the comman- 
dant's words, and then a report, later found to be true, that 
already the Second class had learned what was going on, 
and were making preparation to seize and tar and feather 
him. Older heads warned the council this would never do. 
Hating him as they did, the chances were that they might 
seriously injure him. It was decided that the Second 
class should be kept in check and the culprit drummed out, 
army fashion, at evening parade. This ceremony was, 
in winter, held in the area of barracks, the four companies 
simply closing on the center, with the adjutant in command. 
The field music played the "retreat," the evening gun was 
fired, the adjutant published the orders, read out the de- 
linquencies, and then dismissed the command. 

And that dull, dark afternoon, just as usual, the drums 
beat, the rolls were called, the companies closed on center, 

Memories of a Busy Life 


the retreat was sounded, the gun fired, and calling the 
battalion to attention I read the orders of the day, and then 
looked along that rigid, silent, gray-clad line. Whether I 
fully believed in the guilt of the poor fellow could make no 
difference now — the cadet officers in council had so declared 
him and adjudged "drumming out" as his punishment. I, 
as adjutant, was their executive. 

In a voice distinctly audible to every man in ranks, I 
announced as warning to the Second classmen, who were 
many of them quivering with eagerness ; "In the event of any- 
thing of an unusual nature taking place at this formation 
any man who attempts to leave his place in ranks will at 
once be placed in arrest by any one of the cadet officers." 
At this the captains and lieutenants stepped to the front 
of their companies and faced their men. Only once had I 
ever seen those young faces turn so white, and that was 
the April morning months before, when it had been my 
lot to read to the stricken corps the details of our beloved 
President's assassination. 

The door of the third hall opened, and in civilian dress, 
with the placard "Thief" on his back, the accused cadet 
was led by his three inquisitors to the right of the line; 
the drums and fifes struck up "The Rogue's March," and 
down the front of those quivering ranks they led him 
around to the left and rear until nearly behind the center, 
then bade him go, and as though in dread of his life, he 
darted away down the hill to the south dock, while, with 
a voice that must have trembled a bit, I read the two pages of 
delinquencies, holding the battalion to silence and to ranks 
until the culprit was safe from pursuit. Then and not until 
then, I ordered, "Dismiss your companies." 

With something almost like a scream, the whole Second 
class and many of the Third sped madly in pursuit, Init 
were brought up standing by the sight of thesupcrinloiulcnt. 
General Cullum, coming up the road. I, meantime, had 

General Charles King 

gone to the quarters of the commandant and briefly reported: 
"Sir, the thief was found at half past one, drummed out at 
parade, and is now probably across the river." He, looking 
dazed for a moment, said: "You have taken a grave 
responsibility on your shoulders, and then, perhaps, 
recalled what he had said as to what the corps would have 
done in his day, for not another word did he utter, but, 
taking his cap, went forth in search of the superintendent. 

That night an officer with a guard was sent in pursuit, 
and brought the terrified victim back. A court of inquiry 
was speedily ordered, counsel assigned the accused, and the 
report after full investigation was to the effect that the 
evidence was inconclusive, and their recommendation was, 
as a matter of course, that the "ring leaders" be brought to 
trial before General Court Martial. 

That was a solemn Christmas-tide for me. It was 
decided that only four cadets s/hould be made examples of, 
the adjutant, of course, and the three who escorted the 
prisoner down the line, "as a degraded criminal," said 
Mr. Secretary Stanton, in his ominous order. The details 
for the court named nine distinguished officers, with Colonel 
William Sinclair as judge advocate. We felt that no 
sentence less than dismissal could be awarded, yet believed 
with reason that it would be accompanied by a recom- 
mendation for clemency. We determined to plead guilty to 
the charge and throw ourselves on the mercy of the court; 
half of the members, at least, knew the circumstances that 
had led to our action, and, come weal, come woe, we vowed 
that no one of our number, even in self-defense would bring 
into the case the inciting words of our beloved, but most 
impulsive commandant. 

An odd thing was that though one of the "escort" was a 
cadet captain, and another a cadet first lieutenant, they 
were arraigned simply as cadets. I alone, having been in 
command and responsible for all that took place, was tried 
in my official grade as adjutant of the battalion of cadets. 

Memories of a Busy Life 


It was midwinter when the court assembled. Mine was 
the first case called, and I pleaded guilty to the charge, 
called on the superintendent and commandant to testify 
as to my character and bearing as a cadet; read my state- 
ment to the court, in the presence of quite a number of 
spectators; took all the blame; expressed the sorrow and 
humiliation I felt at having administered this degrading 
punishment to a man declared innocent of the crime attrib- 
uted to him, and said nothing about the actual offenses 
which had made him the Ishmael of the corps. To my sur- 
prise there were tears in the eyes of two members of the court 
and of some of the spectators. 

Then followed a very unhappy month in spite of the fact 
that several officers took it upon themselves to come to me 
with cheering words. By this time most people on the Point 
and not a few at Washington had heard through cadet 
relations the inside facts, so to speak, of the victim's previous 
record, and, in some way, that we were not entirely without 
the urging of superior authority in the course that we took. 
But by this time I believed that a far worse man, some 
desperate criminal in the corps, had hidden that marked 
money in the dictionary in order to throw suspicion from 
himself and fix the crime on the man whom the corps would 
be most ready to believe guilty of anything. In my self- 
reproach and humiliation I had, as I say, come to believe 
him innocent. This, however, his class absolutely refused 
to do. To the day of their graduation and many of them to 
the day of his death, long years later, held to it that he was 
the thief. 

But a reaction had set in that was of vast aid to the four 
cadets who had been made the official burden bearers — 
the scapegoats of the corps. Secretary Stanton was said 
to have been exasperated because tlie courts, the superin- 
tendent, and the commandant had actually j)loa(ied for 
mercy for us. I fully expected at least to be suspended from 


General Charles King 

rank and pay an entire year and so did Frank Soule of 
California, the handsome captain of Company "D." It 
seemed a long time before the orders came from Washington 
but they finally arrived. All four were sentenced to be 
dismissed from the military service of the United States, 
but in the case of the three committee men, having acted 
under orders of the adjutant, and having received the 
favorable recommendation of the court, the execution of 
the sentence was suspended until further orderSc They, 
also, remained on probation in the meantime. In my 
case, said the Secretary of War, because of the earnest 
recommendation of the court, concurred in by the superin- 
tendent and commandant, "based upon high character 
and hitherto excellent conduct the sentence is remitted." 
"But," said the Secretary, "however honorable may have 
been his motives. Cadet King has been guilty of a grave 
offense, and it is ordered that he be deprived of his position 
as Adjutant." So Soule went back to the command of his 
company, Wright to the second in command of his, and I 
following the lead of my admired adjutant of the winter 
of '62, now, in '65 my instructor in civil and military 
engineering, went back to the ranks of Company "A." 

There was quite a little feeling about it in the corps, a 
disposition to make me a sort of martyr, but though long 
saddened and humbled by the consciousness of having 
wronged a fellow-man, I knew that my punishment was 
light. No matter what "Old Harry" had said in his ex- 
citement and exasperation, I should have had sense enough 
to know it was contrary to law and order. 

Now, strange things resulted from that episode. First, 
the victim himself lived the life of a recluse to the day of his 
graduation, eighteen months thereafter; execrated and 
often abused by his classmates, he would resent no insult. 
He lived dumbly, meekly, and alone, and he must have 
gone through hell or purgatory. He became a totally 

Memories of a Busy Life 


changed man. Solitude, self-examination, and study did 
their work. He was assigned to a regiment, married, and 
took his young wife to a far western station, where the 
story followed him, and the few West Pointers at first 
would not speak to him. But he became a model duty 
officer, reserved, dignified, studious. He lived to win the 
respect of his fellow-men, and to die a devout Christian. 

It is believed also that shortly before his death he was 
made aware that two or three West Pointers actually knew 
the real villain in the tragic story. Strangely enough, he 
was the only other cadet with whom I had a lasting diflPerence. 
From the summer of 1865 I had refused to speak to him. He 
was secretly married, it seems, and the woman blackmailed 
him. He was driven nearly mad by her threatening to 
announce their marriage unless he kept her supplied with 
money. This would at once have ended his career as a cadet 
and his future as an officer. He had to steal to meet her 
demands. He went stark mad one wintry night, a year after 
the drumming-out affair; he had given indications of insan- 
ity twice before. He wandered off cadet limits, and was 
brought back exhausted, and while in hospital, under pledge 
of secrecy, told his miserable story to a fellow cadet, and 
killed himself a year after his graduation. 

An odd sequel to that distressing affair came in June. 
There was a great shortage of young graduates of West 
Point, so many had been killed or crippled for life in the 
war, so many promoted, that the superintendent found it 
necessary to ask of the War Department that he might 
select two of the graduating class for duty as instructors in 
tactics during the summer encampment. It was granted, 
and the two cadets selected to reappear as officers and in- 
structors within a fortnight of their graduation were the 
man who took my place as adjutant and my dethroned 
self, I hardly knew how to thank tlie supcrintondont and 
commandant, for it was the latter who made the choice. 


General Charles King 


It was a beautiful detail and a very delightful duty, but 
it might have been better had I spent that summer on 
leave, as I had planned, in Wisconsin, for I had not seen 
my home since 1860 and longed to be there again. Father, 
mother, sister, and grandfather and his family were all in 
Italy, father being still minister to Rome, but there were a 
few of my kith and kin, and many a dear old chum, living in 
Milwaukee, and I wanted to see the "graceless. Godless 
gang" again before going in the autumn to join the light 
battery, to which, as second lieutenant I had been assigned. 
Matters had become turbulent in New Orleans. There 
had been a "massacre" of negro legislators at the Mechan- 
ics Institute, on Dryades Street, where the Gruenewald 
Hotel now stands, and the battery commander urged my 
joining without delay. The trouble was over, but he was 
short of officers. I spent only a week in Milwaukee that 
fall; but in the fall of '67, while the great epidemic of yellow 
fever was in full blast, I was on sick leave in the North, 
forbidden by the War Department's orders to return until 
frost set in. Living at .Alexander Mitchell's commodious 
home, where the Wisconsin Club now stands, I had a most 
enjoyable visit until near Thanksgiving, when ordered to 
New York to accompany by sea a big batch of recruits 
going to Louisiana and Texas to help fill the gaps made 
by the fever. 

Then came a rather lively year in New Orleans, the po- 
litical campaign of '68 and a series of riots in the Crescent 
City between the whites and blacks. It was that fall of 
'68 that Catling guns, though invented during the Civil War, 
were first mounted and put in use in the Army, two of 
them, with their carriages, caissons, harness, etc., and 
complete equipment being sent to our battery, where they 
were duly horsed and manned, and the command fell to 
me, the junior lieutenant on duty. It got to be great fun 

Memories of a Busy Life 


after a while, when we had learned the use of these "bullet 
squirters," as they were called. We were moved into the 
city and stationed in a big, abandoned cotton press out on 
Canal Street, when the election drew near and the rioting 
became frequent, our orders were to hitch every evening and 
stand to horse, ready for business. It wouldn't be long 
before somewhere in the downtown districts, the sudden 
crackle of revolver and shotgun would announce that a riot 
had broken out, and send us at swift trot, rattling away 
over the block pavement, for all the world like four fine fire 
companies acting as one, bound for the scene of disturbance. 
Never once had we to fire, though often it was ' 'Front into 
battery" at the gallop. The rioters, black and white, 
had an idea those guns would belch lead that would sweep 
the streets from curb to curb, and the crowds scattered like 
sheep at the sound of our bugle, and the cry "Here come 
the Catlings!" All the same we were glad when it was 
over, and early the following spring I was ordered to Fort 
Hamilton, New York harbor, acting as post adjutant for a 
while, and in August being for a second time detailed in the 
department of tactics at West Point — duties that I rejoiced 
in and that kept me actively employed drilling, drilling, 
riding and afoot, day after day, and rowing between times 
on the Hudson, developing health, strength, and physique 
that stood me in good stead in trying years that were before 

When Congress cut down the Army in '69, 1 grabbed at a 
chance to transfer into the Cavalry, the service I best loved. 
In the fall of '71 I joined the Fifth Regiment on the plains 
of the Platte Valley, had a glorious hunt or two with Buffalo 
Bill, our chief scout, then when our colonel was ordered to 
New Orleans to command the reestablislied Department 
of the Gulf, with his old volunteer rank of major general, 
he took me with him as aide-de-camp, i)ossil)ly because he 
thought I knew more about afl'airs in Louisiana than any 
other of his subalterns. 


General Charles King 

Then came three very eventful years and duties that were 
far from agreeable. The "carpet-bag government," so- 
called, was in full control in Louisiana, and presently split 
into two factions — two legislatures and, almost, two 

It is too much like ancient history to go back to those 
troubled times. We are unlikely ever again to see states 
divided as was Louisiana, with the old residents, impaired 
in fortune in almost every case, disfranchised and holding 
aloof in dignified silence and retirement. We had riots 
between the factions, a few assassinations, and no end of 
excitement. My chief. Major-general Emory, was perpetu- 
ally being applied to, first by one faction, then by the 
other, for protection against armed forces, which both 
maintained. All the while their clashings were going on in 
Louisiana, and others in Mississippi, there were social 
activities in which the general and his staff were able to take 
part, and which afforded him and them many opportunities 
of meeting people we were glad to know, including a very 
few of the old residents, some of whom had been Emory's 
friends in the old army. Perhaps the most unique experi- 
ence that came to me was that of serving at one time as 
liaison officer, between my chief. General Emory, and no 
less a personage than the famous former Confederate, 
General Longstreet, by that time wearing the uniform of a 
major general of the United States Army and commanding 
the Louisiana militia. I always had a great admiration 
for him as a soldier, and this brought us into very close 
relations. He interested me more than any other man I 
met in those days in Louisiana and I was glad of the 

The old opera house with an excellent orchestra, led by 
Calabresi, with a very capable company and chorus, was a 
joy to me. Mardi Gras was celebrated in famous style, 
our Nineteenth Regular Infantry, on one occasion, furnish- 

Memories of a Busy Life 


ing all the oriental guard of the carnival king, just as 
in 1868 the horses and men of my old battery had appeared 
in the pageant of Lalla Rookh. Another great parade which 
annually took place in New Orleans was that of the firemen 
on the fourth of March, a spectacle never to be missed. 
Then, for a lover of baseball as I had been since we began 
playing it at Columbia in 1858, there were excellent nines 
in the Lone Star, the Robert E. Lee, and the Excelsior Club. 
I joined the last named, but found I could no longer bat 
and field as in '69, when being for some months on recruiting 
duty in Cincinnati, I had joined that famous club, the Red 
Stockings. It was that year, '69, that our team made the 
tour of the eastern states without losing a game, in spite of 
the fact that in Martin, of the Unions of Morrisania, New 
York, they were up against a curved pitcher, though he and 
they knew it not. Martin himself could not explain his 
strange power of baffling such batsmen as George Wright, 
Leonard, McVey, and George Gould. In '71, however, I had 
to take to wearing glasses and my baseball days were over. 

But on the other hand, I was riding more than ever; it 
was the last year of the famous old Metairie Jockey Club, 
of which General Paul O. Hebert was president, and I saw 
the last four-mile heats ever run in the South, with San- 
ford's superb Monarchist as the champion. That spring of 
'72 was made rather interesting in New Orleans by the ar- 
rival of two young gentlemen riders. Captain George Rosen- 
lecher of France, and the Count de Crenneville of Austria, 
who challenged any officers to an international race on La- 
dies' Day, April 9. A Mr. Stuart, formerly of the British 
Hussars, was eager to take up the challenge, a Mr. Ross, 
who had been in the Inniskilling Dragoons, was accepted to 
ride for Ireland, and Generals Hebert and Westmoro of tlie 
Metairie Club, picked me to ride for America. I weiglied 
147 then, too heavy a weight for jockey work. Furthermore, 
the beautiful silken jockey dress, with white cord breeches, 


General Charles King 

and the dainty top boots (they and their spurs tipped the 
beam at less than 14 ounces when made) cost money that 
I could ill afford; but when even my general, Emory, said, 
"It's your duty, sir, to ride for the regiment," the matter 
was settled. The ninth of April was a gorgeous day. 
The crowd was big and the ladies' stand was filled as I never 
saw it before or since. I had had ju»t three weeks in which 
to train — rising each morning at 3:30, walking briskly the 
six miles out to the track, mounting and riding two or three 
thoroughbreds, practising starts, etc., and training down to a 
weight a good five-year-old racer would not find too burden- 
some for the mile and eighty yards prescribed. The race 
was a beauty, and I won it against my belief, for both 
the Kentucky filly, Rapidita, and General Buford's beautiful 
Kentucky four-year-old, Nathan Oaks, had beaten my 
Natchez-bred Templo before and beat him after our 
contest. But what made that event something more 
than a mere episode in my life was the fact that two New 
Orleans girls were brave enough to wear a Yankee officer's 
colors that day. There were many who appeared in the 
gorgeous hues of Crenneville's and Rosenlecher's "cas- 
aques," and not a few were out in Stuart's cerise and blue, 
as well as a dozen in the green of the Emerald Isle ; but it was 
too soon after the war, and Columbia's colors (my college 
before West Point) of bright blue and white, were worn, as 
I say, by only two. 

The dainty, gold-mounted prize whip was presented by 
General Hebert immediately after we dismounted, and in 
less than five minutes thereafter it was laid in the lap 
of one of those two — the only daughter of old Captain 
Louis S. Yorke, of Carroll Parish, La., a famous sailor 
in his day — and within another year it had come back to 
me, with its new owner. It is here in Milwaukee now — so 
is the lady. We were married in late November, '72, and 
a year or so thereafter I had to leave her and our baby 

Memories of a Busy Life 


daughter at the old plantation, all because the Apache were 
raising the mischief in Arizona. My troop was in the 
thick of the fighting, and I forsook staff duty in New 
Orleans; hurried over by way of San Francisco, then the 
quickest way, and from that time on it was Indian cam- 
paigning or Indian fighting for five memorable years. 

There was service that called for everything a soldier 
had to give. In that warfare, whether officer or man, 
he had nothing to gain and everything to lose. There were 
no honors, no rewards, and in the actual fighting we had 
to win or die, mercifully if killed outright, by slow and 
fiendish torture if taken alive. I have written very much 
on this subject, and will not weary the reader with details. 
In command of thirty-five troopers and a pack train of 
hardy little Mexican mules, with a dozen Indian scouts, 
our young officers were sent into the mountains after the 
renegade Tonto Apache, and I had three or four lively 
brushes with them, in which we came out ahead, for my 
men were veterans by the time I reached them, and I 
eagerly sought and took the advice of the senior sergeants 
until sure of the ground myself. 

By the autumn of '74 I felt quite at home in northeastern 
Arizona, and when one afternoon messengers came riding in 
to Camp Verde, with the news that a band of Tontos had 
driven off a herd of beef cattle from near the Agency, twenty 
miles north, I was glad to receive the orders of the post 
commander to take one lieutenant and thirty men, all he 
could spare, follow the trail, get the cattle and punish the 
Tontos. We started that evening, groping through the 
canons up into the Black Mesa, hiding by day and trailing 
by night, and on the fourth evening, away up at Snow Lake, 
recovered the herd, after a brisk little skirmish, and the 
next day fought it out with the Tontos, away up in Sunset 


General Charles King 

This proved to be my last fight in Arizona, for one 
arrow nearly ripped out the left eye, and a bullet smashed 
the saber arm close to the shoulder. That is why baseball, 
boxing, rowing, and the sports I delighted in qame to an 
end, and why even golf and tennis have proved impossible. 
For eight long years that was an open suppurating wound, 
discharging fragments of bone and proving a severe drag 
upon the general system ; yet in spite of it, I managed to go 
all through our greatest Indian campaign, that with the 
Sioux and Cheyenne in 1876, in which Custer and so many 
of the Seventh Cavalry lost their lives, and even to be 
very active, for I had command of the advance guard the 
morning we surprised the Southern Cheyenne, near the War 
Bonnet Creek, close to the Wyoming, Nebraska, and South 
Dakota line, on the seventeenth of July. This was the 
fight in which Bill Cody, our chief scout, killed the young 
chief Yellow Hand, and we had to do some sharp riding and 
charging to save him from the vengeful dash of the chief's 
enraged followers. We had just got the news of the great 
Indian victory over Custer's command, and the Indians 
were in their glory. They fought with superb skill and 
confidence at first, but it ended in a general rout and stam- 
pede back to the shelter of the Agency, our seven troops 
(companies) close at their heels. 

Two weeks later we marched clear to the Big Horn 
Mountains and reinforced General Crook, who had found 
the enemy far too numerous on the seventeenth of June. 
Later still we pursued to the Yellowstone and east to the 
Little Missouri, where our horses began to starve, and then 
came our turn, for the Indians — Sitting Bull's entire array — 
headed south toward the Black Hills and the unguarded 
settlements, and Crook led us, ragged and starving, after 
them. We had to eat our horses, three a day to each 
battalion or squadron, until we pounced on an outlying 
camp, with a big herd of fat ponies, near Slim Buttes, Sep- 

Memories of a Busy Life 


tember 9, and fought all Crazy Horse's band and many of 
Sitting Bull's people, but had no more to eat our poor scare- 
crows. Fat, grass-fed Indian pony isn't half bad when men 
are hungry, as we were, without a hardtack or a slice of 
bacon left in the entire command. 

At the close of that campaign General Merritt made me 
regimental adjutant, and as such I rode with him through 
the Nez Perce war the next year; that was as joyous as the 
other had been exhausting, for we had abundant supplies 
and gorgeous weather and marched through a most pictur- 
esque and beautiful country. But in '78 the surgeons said 
it was useless to try to keep up the fight. I could never 
pass the physical examination for promotion, could i^icver 
swing a regulation saber again. The War Department was 
most kind and let me hang on until I reached my captaincy, 
and then placed me on the retired list for "disability from 
wounds in line of duty." The next year I was back in 
Wisconsin and its University took me in as professor of 
military science and tactics. 

{To be continued) 


Louise Phelps Kellogg^ 

Thirty years ago last August died a man to whom 
Wisconsin owes much, yet of whom many of its sons and 
daughters have never heard. None the less, with the 
passing of the generation to which he belonged his fame 
among scholars has grown clearer and his benefactions are 
more appreciated than they were during the half century of 
his residence in Wisconsin. Lyman Copeland Draper, the 
secretary of the State Historical Society from 1854 to 1886, 
was a singularly quiet man, almost a recluse in habit, modest 
and unpretentious in manner, with no capacity for self- 
advertisement, but with unmeasured ability for hard work, 
and a self-sacrificing determination to render service both to 
the past and to posterity. 

Wisconsin was fortunate in securing him to reorganize 
the Historical Society, to become the founder of its fame, 
and the first architect of its great library. *'The whole 
Society," wrote Judge Walker of Detroit fifty years ago, 
"is a monument to him." Like Sir Christopher Wren in 
the Cathedral of St. Paul, we may declare of Dr. Draper — 
**If you wish a memorial of him, look around you." 

It is not with the purpose of enlarging his fame that 
this account is written; it is with the desire of unfolding to 
the newer generation the elements of his character and the 
nature of his services, that we push back the curtain of 
memory and look deeply into those distant days when the 
State Historical Society of Wisconsin was a vision and a 
hope, and its success a problem to be solved. The fulfill- 
ment into which we of the present enter is a complex 
of many forces, of unselfish effort and communal interest 

^ Address delivered at the sixty-ninth annual meeting of the Society, Oct. 20, 1921. 

First Secrelary of llir Socirly, 1 8.54-1 SSO 

The Services of Lyman Copeland Draper ^4to 

on the part of many of the fathers of Wisconsin. Even 
before the state had set its star upon the jflag of our common 
country, an historical society had been discussed and its 
advantages proclaimed. Most of those, however, engaged 
in making history were neglectful of saving history, and it 
was not until the machinery of the state had been assembled 
and had begun to function that a public call was issued to 
meet at the state capitol in January, 1849, to organize a 
Wisconsin historical society. Many of those who were 
present contributed to the development of the state. First 
in prominence, probably also in weight of years, was 
William R. Smith, later the official historian of early-day 
Wisconsin. General Smith was a gentleman of the old 
school, fully conscious of a distinguished ancestry; his 
grandfather was Provost Smith, first head of the University 
of Pennsylvania, distinguished for his early espousal during 
Revolutionary days of the colonists' cause; his father, 
William Moore Smith, was a poet and an author of more 
than local distinction. William Rudolph himself had been 
educated at an English university; he came to Wisconsin 
in 1838 to make his home at Mineral Point. General 
Smith, as he was called from his militia title, was tall and 
finely formed; he customarily wore the stock and high 
cravat of the elder fashion, carried himself with military 
precision, and expected a certain deference from his asso- 
ciates. Being in Madison at the call for the organization 
of an historical society, he consented to serve as secretary 
of the meeting. Its chairman was the Honorable Eleazar 
Root of Waukesha, first state superintendent of public 
instruction, a gaunt-faced Connecticut Yankee, with the 
look of a dreamer in his deep-set eyes. Mr. Root was a 
graduate of Williams College, a lawyer by profession, and 
had spent several years in the South. lie was the father 
of the state's school system; a man appreciative of all 
spiritual values, full of faith and vision. 


Louise Phelps Kellogg 

The third of the trio of organizers and first ofiicers 
of our Society was the Milwaukee scientist Increase A. 
Lapham« In person Dr. Lapham was a complete contrast 
to his two colleagues, being a small, neat man, almost dapper 
in his habit. He had, moreover, a genius for industry, and 
it was his good ofiSces as corresponding secretary which 
kept the Society during the first five years of its existence 
from complete inanition. Upon its reorganization and 
revitalization in 1854, General Smith became the first presi- 
dent of the newly chartered Society, an office he retained 
until the first year of the Civil War, His successor was 
Dr. Lapham, who presided over its destinies during the 
succeeding decade. General Smith and Dr. Lapham were 
thus the two prophets of progress, who like Aaron and Hur 
supported the Moses of our chosen Society, and were 
largely instrumental in making Draper's early administra- 
tion successful. 

The first conception of the Society was that it should 
be an institution for the delivering of discourses and ad- 
dresses upon historical subjects, "The speech was the 
thing," the idea of a gathering of historical materials was 
subsidiary. General Smith was invited to deliver the first 
annual discourse, in the Senate Chamber of the capitol, 
in January, 1850, At this first annual meeting the address 
was said to be ''classical in tone and pervaded throughout 
with a spirit of accuracy and of beauty," Ranging over 
history sacred and profane, the origin of the North American 
Indians was discussed, the Spanish and French discoveries 
of our continent rehearsed, the American organization of 
the Northwest Territory and the beginnings of Wiscon- 
sin's history set forth. General Smith deplored a nar- 
row view of the mission of the Society, considered the state 
in its relation to the great valley to which it belongs, and 
closed by suggesting that future discourses should elucidate 
the early history of our region. Few of the succeeding 


The Services of Lyman Copeland Draper 247 

addresses were as practical in their bearings as that of 
General Smith. "The History of the Peoples as Illustrated 
by their Monuments," "The Influence of History on 
Individual and National Action," "The History and 
Development of Races," were some of the sonorous subjects 
oratorically presented to the early attendants upon the 
annual meetings. These addresses, to present-day schol- 
ars, are curious examples of our forefathers' taste. Criticism 
of this kind does not apply to that honored pioneer of Green 
Bay, Morgan L. Martin, who in the second annual address 
made a real contribution to our knowledge of first things 
in Wisconsin; as did likewise Henry S. Baird in 1856. 

Because of this early conception of the Society as a 
medium for delivering addresses, so little attention was 
paid to collection that a single bookcase with less than 
fifty odd volumes of state documents contained all the 
material assets of the Society at the end of the first five 
years of its existence. 

A new conception of the role of an historical society was 
the result of the choice, in 1854, of a new secretary. Not 
only were new energy and new ardor put back of the 
Society's efforts, but the idea of an historical workshop 
to provide the raw materials and the tools for future workers 
became the dominant aim of the new administrator. For 
the first time the fate of the Society was placed in the 
competent hands of an historical scholar, with a talent for 
organization and a genius for collection. 

Among those present at the first meeting of the Society 
in 1849 was a young pioneer named Larrabee. Originally 
from Ohio, Larrabee attended there Granville University, 
where he had for a fellow student a slight, frail youth, 
whose antiquarian interests were already well developed. 
The attraction of opposites seems to have acted to draw 
Larrabee and Draper into a notable friendship. School- 
days ended, the two young men formed a partnership for the 


Louise Phelps Kellogg 

publication of a weekly paper in the town of Pontotoc, 
Mississippi. After a few issues The Spirit of the Times 
suspended, and the two partners tried for a few months 
to live upon the land. Sweet potatoes not proving finan- 
cially profitable, Charles H. Larrabee drifted to Chicago, and 
eventually to Wisconsin, where he became an able judge; 
and with the call to arms in 1861, doffed the ermine for 
the uniform and commanded a Wisconsin regiment on 
southern battle fields. Judge Larrabee frequently visited 
Madison in the interim between the first and second organi- 
zations of the Society; quite as often he spoke to his ac- 
quaintances of his boyhood friend whose reputation as an 
historical scholar had been growing to fair dimensions 
since Pontotoc days. Among others whom Larrabee in- 
terested was Governor Farwell, a man of enterprise and 
foresight. Farwell believed in the use of the expert; 
to him it was clear that an historical society should be 
somebody's business. He joined with other state officials 
in inviting Lyman C. Draper to transfer his home and fam- 
ily to Madison and to undertake the cause of the undeveloped 
historical society. Draper accepted and at the annual 
meeting of 1854 was elected corresponding secretary and 
provided with a state appropriation of $500. 

The effect of the new regime was immediately apparent. 
The first year a thousand volumes were added to the fifty 
of the Society's possessions. These volumes were not 
obtained without much hard work; without any of the 
modern appliances for correspondence, the new secretary 
wrote with his own hand, during that first year, one thou- 
sand eight hundred and thirty -three letters. By his personal 
influence most of the volumes were secured either as dona- 
tions or exchanges for Wisconsin state documents; only 
a few were purchased, and those by judicious investments. 
The next year the library was more than doubled; at the 
end of the first five years of Draper's administration seven 

The Services of Lyman Co f eland Draper 249 

thousand and fifty-three substantial volumes represented 
the Society's treasures. Success begot success; the legis- 
latures slowly recognized the value of the work being done, 
the appropriations crept up, the collections broadened in 
scope and variety, checked somewhat by the exigencies 
of the Civil War. Yet, when at its close the Society re- 
moved to the south wing of the capitol, it arranged twenty- 
five thousand volumes in its enlarged quarters ; and when at 
the end of 1886 Draper retired from office he left to the 
state a library of 118,666 titles^ 

It is one thing to gather books; it is another to build a 
library. Taken as a whole, we may confidently say that 
our Society's library contains less "dead timber," fewer 
useless books, than any library of its size and kind in the 
country. This condition is due, in the first instance, to 
the scholarly acumen and nice discrimination exercised by 
our first secretary during the formative period of library 
building. Draper knew books, and he knew how to obtain 
them. It is not too much to say that during his adminis- 
tration of thirty-two years no book was placed upon the 
Society's shelves of whose contents he did not have con- 
siderable knowledge. He knew a permanently useful 
book from the ephemeral kind; his wide acquaintance with 
American historians and his own experience with historical 
publishing made him a judge of current publications. 
He seems also to have had an almost uncanny sense of the 
value of Americana. He prized no book merely for its 
rarity, for its reputation, for its binding, or for any adventi- 
tious circumstances; he bought books for their contents. 
Thus like a skillful architect he built a library, volume by 
volume, set by set, fitting one part to another as portions 
of a great edifice towards whose completion all efforts 
were bent, whose artistic growth and fair proportions were 
ever kept in mind. 

Neither was it books alone for which Draper successfully 
sought. He was one of the earliest in this section of the 


Louise Phelps Kellogg 

country to appreciate the value of periodicals and news- 
papers. As one instance of his indefatigable efforts in this 
department, among his correspondence there are answers 
to over fifty letters which he wrote in search of a few missing 
numbers of a Southern historical magazine, published before 
tlie Civil War, and during that catastrophe widely scattered 
and destroyed. By supplication and persistence he per- 
suaded reluctant owners to complete the Society's file. 
It seems almost a miracle that a man working at such 
distance from literary centers could in the middle of the 
nineteenth century secure such a newspaper collection as our 
Society contains, comprising many of the oldest journals 
ever published in England or America. 

Draper also desired to found an historical museum. 
From the beginning of his administration he urged the 
importance of securing portraits of the men of mark in the 
state. Personally he solicited governors and ex-governors, 
pioneers and officials, to donate their portraits. He ob- 
tained from the renowned Virginia artist Robert Sully 
replicas of the portraits of the chief Black Hawk and his 
companions, painted from life while they were in the 
dungeons of Fortress Monroe. So interested did Sully 
become in the development of our museum, that he pre- 
pared to remove to Madison to be ready for orders from 
those who wished to present their portraits to the Society. 
Unhappily the artist died en route, and the state lost a man 
of skill and talent. Few of the early portraits have artistic 
merit; they are, however, in many cases the only represen- 
tations existing of the pioneers of Wisconsin. The collec- 
tion as a whole also gives an opportunity for the study 
of the development of portraiture in the West. 

So many-sided were Draper's activities it is difficult 
even to summarize all his plans for the Society. To him 
obstacles were but a spur, a challenge to his energy and 
persistence. Hampered by poor health, small means. 

The Services of Lyman Copeland Draper 25 1 

the indifference of the community, the lack of appreciation 
by the state at large, he kept in mind a single aim, to make 
the State Historical Society of Wisconsin the peer of similar 
societies in the East, and to make it unique in its relation 
to Western pioneering, and to the growth and progress of 
the Mississippi Valley. 

With that end in view he persuaded the legislature to 
make an appropriation for publishing some of the Society's 
manuscripts. The first of the series appeared in 1855 as the 
First Annual Report and Collections, In it appeared a 
unique document, the diary of Lieut. James Gorrell at 
Green Bay from 1761 to 1763, the only English commandant 
of a Wisconsin post. This manuscript Draper obtained 
through the good oflSces of Francis Parkman, who had 
secured it when writing his Conspiracy of Pontiac, The 
second and third volumes of the Collections appeared 
respectively in 1856 and 1857. From this it will be seen that 
Draper's ambition was to issue a yearly volume. In 
volume three appeared his interview with Augustin Grignon, 
in which the French sources of our history were revealed. 

Draper's editorial plans were checked first by the failure 
of appropriations, which necessitated a biennial volume in 
1859; then by the Civil War, when former history seemed 
to history-makers of the day unimportant. Not until 
1866 was the Society authorized to recommence publication, 
and then by successive parts, so that the fifth volume did 
not succeed its predecessor until almost a decade had 
passed. Thereafter five more volumes appeared before 
the close of Draper's administration, rounding out his con- 
tribution to the Society's Collections to ten volumes, and 
providing a mine of historical information for future 
students of Wisconsin's history. So thorough and scholarly 
was Draper's editing, so wise his choice of materials, tliat 
the Wisco7isin Historical Collections became the model on 
which other societies have undertaken similar issues. 


Louise Phelps Kellogg 

Recognition came to him from his contemporaries. 
The following is a University boy's description of him in 
1874: *'A slightly built boyish man, an unequal match in 
bodily strength for most lads of twelve, who has carried for 
twenty years the care of a Society of learning upon his 
shoulders, until at the present it has attained an honorable 
place among the institutions of its kind in our country. 
Never faltering in his task, facing legislators and governors 
with his cherished projects, obtaining their aid in spite of 
indifference or fierce opposition, caring not a straw for 
personal abuse or misrepresentation, and now wearing his 
merited honors with the same ease and grace with which 
he has borne his responsibilities. Such a man in the best 
sense of the word, has what we mean by broad shoulders." 

A few years later John Bigelow, minister to France, 
veteran editor of the New York Evening Post, himself a 
trustee of a great library foundation, wrote in a private 
letter: "Your collection is the obvious fruit of great zeal, 
industry, tact and discretion. ... It is an honor to your 
state if not a reproach to every other. What your Society is 
doing to accumulate and preserve memorials of the pioneers 
of civilization in the North West deserves and will receive 
the gratitude of a constantly widening circle of students 
from generation to generation." Of the fulfillment of that 
prophecy we of the present day are witnesses. 

Draper himself sums up most completely his toil and 
ambition for our Society in a letter written in 1873 to 
Governor Washburn: "You will, I know, permit me, in this 
private way, to indulge in some closing remarks, partially 
personal, and partially connected with the Society's inter- 
ests. I came here a little over 21 years ago, on the personal 
invitation of Gov. Farwell, Col. Larrabee, and Judge Orton. 
For two years I labored for the Society, in getting it started 
& showing wh- be done, for no pay whatever — using some 
of my own means, & providing stationery & postage: 

The Services of Lyman Copeland Draper 253 

And since then my salary has ranged from $500 to 1200: 
I have never clamored for large pay — contented to live 
in an economical way, if I could only be useful, & do our 
goodly State service. Though repeatedly tempted to go to 
other States — once to New York on a $2000 salary; once to 
Ky. where a $100,000 was proposed to be raised as a founda- 
tion for a Historical Society, if I w"^ consent to go on a 
good salary to manage the matter; & more recently to 
Chicago where they p^ (their late secretary) $2,000 a year 
for less than half his time — but in all these & other cases, 
I gave no encouragement. To you who know little of me, 
let these facts, I pray you, have some influence in convinc- 
ing you that I am laboring here with as little selfishness 
as we poor mortals usually evince. Whatever tends to 
add to our Society's usefulness, gratifies my heart, in my old 
age, to an extent that language is inadequate to express: 
I cannot but think that similar feelings must fill the hearts 
of all those who participate in this noble work.'* It is for 
us, the inheritors of this goodly legacy, this Society founded 
in such toil and sacrifice, to recognize the unselfishness, the 
scholarship, the zeal, and the skill of its first architect and to 
lay our wreath of honor at his feet. 

These were not the only services tendered by Draper to 
our state; from 1858 to 1860 he held the office of state 
superintendent of public instruction. His report for 1859 
was a classic in its thoroughness, and in its discussion of the 
value and importance of school libraries. During his 
administration these libraries were greatly increased, and 
the school system of the state broadened by fresh contact 
with good books. 

It might seem that such achievements were enougli for 
any man; that in developing school libraries and in founding 
an historical society recognized as one of the foremost in 
the country, whose usefulness will bo peri)etuatcd for gen- 
erations. Draper had accomplished his life work. This, 
however, was not the sum of his benefactions to our state. 


Louise Phelps Kellogg 

Before he ever thought of coming to Wisconsin or of 
becoming part of its historical society, he cherished the aim 
of recovering a lost portion of American history and of 
writing the lives of the border heroes of America. The 
frontier had ever had a fascination for him, which grew 
with the years until it became the life of his life. At his 
father's fireside in western New York he heard tales of 
border adventure from the lips of old men who had enacted 
them. Himself frail and slight in physique, the rugged 
forms of the backwoodsmen inspired in him awe and 
admiration. His soul expanded to heroic size, his whole 
being craved the stimulus of wild adventure. The deeds 
of the American pioneers, those stark, forthright men who 
hewed their way through the western wilderness, drove 
off wild beasts and savage men, and built for themselves 
homes afar from civilization, in turn the forerunners of a 
new and later civilization, made to him an irresistible appeal. 
Even when he came to know their lives intimately, to 
recognize the cruelty and crudity of his border heroes. 
Draper never swerved from his belief in their heroism and 
his fidelity to their memory. To him they were supermen, 
the upholders of the cause of liberty, a race apart from 
common men, not to be measured by ordinary standards. 

It was a difficult task to which he had set his hand. 
Seventy summers and winters had passed since Daniel Boone 
first ventured over the great divide and saw at his feet 
the fair and fertile land of Kentucky. Virginia was then 
an English colony and the home government was already 
planning to parcel out the great interior valley among 
court favorites and needy noblemen. But the American 
frontiersmen forestalled such intention; with a vigor that 
would not be denied they set forth to appropriate the 
West for themselves. Then came the Revolution, and the 
frontiersmen saw in the colonies' cause their own hope of 
emancipation. With fierce energy they fought the Western 

The Services of Lyman Copeland Draper ^oo 

tribesmen, who lurked in ambush behind each tree and 
filled the silent forests with skulking enemies. All during 
the war the backwoodsmen held their own, filling each tiny 
clearing with a palisaded cabin or a log fort, gathering occa- 
sionally under trusted leaders for some swift march into 
the Indian country, attacking a hostile Indian village, 
releasing white prisoners, and journeying home in triumph. 
The pioneer women were no less heroic; side by side with 
their husbands and brothers they ran the bullets, "toted" - 
the water, and even in emergencies wielded the rifle, pro- 
tecting their homes and children — worthy mothers of the 
American race. 

When, however. Draper began his investigations, nearly 
all of the Indian fighters and early settlers had joined the 
great majority, leaving for the most part as little trace of 
their careers as the silent leaves that drop from the autumn 
forests. Here and there memories lingered among their 
descendants ; a few traditional incidents had found their way 
into print. Some of the frontier leaders had gained a 
posthumous fame as eponymous heroes of the Western 
movement. But who recognized that the Westward move- 
ment had contributed a vital element to American history ? 
What was actually known of the lives of such bordermen as 
Daniel Boone and George Rogers Clark? As for the men 
of lesser fame, those who first made permanent homes in the 
valley of the West, even their names were being lost in the 
mists of oblivion, their deeds forgotten and their fate 

The recovery of this portion of our history was doubly 
difficult, since the men of the frontier were as a rule unlet- 
tered. Orders ran from mouth to mouth; messages to and 
from the settlements were carried by chance travelers; 
official reports were few and brief. Thus the lives of the 
border heroes had to be salvaged from the uncertain 
memories of their descendants, from the few yellowing 


Louise Phelps Kellogg 

papers disintegrating in attics or neglected in distant 
farm buildings or country courthouses. While still at his 
home in northern Mississippi, young Draper made his 
first essays at his chosen task. Among the villagers of 
Pontotoc were descendants of Patrick Henry, Adam 
Stephen, and other western Virginians. Inspired by the 
enthusiasm of the young scholar, these southern gentlemen 
gave him gladly of their stores of reminiscences and 
manuscripts, and offered to furnish him with letters of 
introduction to many friends, like themselves the sons of 
pioneer sires. Armed with such introductions, young 
Draper set forth eastward and northward, through Tennes- 
see and Kentucky, the southwest counties of Virginia, and 
along the rich valley of the Shenandoah. Everywhere he 
was received with great cordiality ; his mission was approved, 
his aims commended. In the isolated farmsteads of the 
Old Southwest his coming was an event. Earnest and en- 
thusiastic himself, he inspired confidence in his hosts; they 
accepted his own estimate of his mission and saw in him 
the chosen vessel ordained to present the lives of the pio- 
neers to the world. To them he was in fact the savior of 
pioneer history, the inspired prophet who should cause to 
rise again the dry bones from the valley of the past. 

Every possible effort was made to assist him in his 
chosen work. Not only were memories ransacked, but from 
their hiding-places old letters and documents were brought 
forth and pressed into his hands. No thought arose as to 
either loan or gift. Here was the rescuer of their forefather's 
fame; here was the apostle of historic record. Everything 
must be put at his disposal to make his work authentic. 
These half-forgotten, neglected papers would most of them 
soon have perished had not this knight errant of historic 
adventure passed by that way. The donors felt themselves 
privileged to cooperate with one whom they recognized as a 
scholar, who was to make the names they bore glorious 
before the world. 

The Services of Lyman Copeland Draper 257 

Very early in his career Draper developed the methods 
he ever afterwards followed. He was thoroughly imbued 
with a desire for historical accuracy; his appetite for exact 
facts was insatiable. He estimated at its real worth the 
value of tradition, and made every effort to correct the 
reminiscences of the pioneers by contemporary evidence. 
Nevertheless he recognized that certain types of facts were 
more readily obtained from descendants than from docu- 
ments. A man might be uncertain when his father was ' 
born or died; he would hardly forget where these events 
occurred. Tradition might confuse incidents of one cam- 
paign with those of another, but the heroic adventures of 
father, uncle, or brother, with many interesting personal 
circumstances, lingered in the minds of the aged and formed 
a bright background on which to etch the historic narrative. 
Family recollection could describe the personal appearance 
and characteristics of a border hero in a way which no 
contemporary reports would present. 

In order to recover such scraps of personality and such 
shreds of evidence. Draper used the method of the question- 
naire. He quickly grew expert in the difficult art of inter- 
viewing, aiding his subject to push aside the mists of memory, 
to disentangle fact from fancy, yet never by his own sug- 
gestions distorting the faint tracery upon the palimpsest 
of the past. The number of facts and the amount of 
personal and local color he drew from those he interviewed 
are astonishing. His piercing questions, his careful accuracy, 
his patience and skill, elicited from his hosts a mass of 
material with which he packed liis notebooks, and wliich 
makes them today a veritable source for genealogy, local 
history, and border adventure unique in quality and value. 
Scarcely a week passes that the answer to some research 
question is not sought and found in the interviews which 
Draper secured on these his earliest journeys in the Old 


Louise Phelps Kellogg 

There must have been something especially winning and 
trustworthy in the personality of this historical pilgrim, 
which obtained for him the confidence and affection of all 
classes in the communities he visited. Seldom did he meet 
with rebuff or harsh treatment; friendly f^tces greeted 
him and kindly hearts entertained him in the rich homes of 
the planters or the rude cabins of the poor. His deference to 
the aged, his sympathy with misfortune, his singleness of 
purpose, won him a welcome and often life-long friends. 
In the intervals of his pilgrimages he carried on an immense 
correspondence, continuing in his letters the same methods 
he had adopted in his interviews. His papers abound with 
questionnaires skillfully worked out to elucidate some 
especial portion of a hero's career, or to recover some for- 
gotten episode of border interest. The same method was 
applied to topography; dozens of letters to local settlers 
were written to discover where the old pioneer trails led over 
the mountains, by what exact route George Rogers Clark 
crossed the prairies of Illinois. To a cursory eye much of 
the material in the Draper manuscript collection seems 
irrelevant, unimportant, and valueless. Closer knowledge 
of its character corrects such impression. Not a letter was 
written but was aimed directly at some point important 
to a complete knowledge of the vicinity or of the man; 
even the replies, while frequently discursive and garrulous, 
contain somewhere the precious nugget of information 
which fits into the need of the historical narrative and gives 
accuracy and precision to its texture. 

It was not long before echoes of the work of this new 
adventurer into historic fields reached the ears of the older and 
more established workers. From the first, Draper was 
accepted as a comrade by such historians as Jared Sparks, 
William H. Prescott, George Bancroft, and Benjamin 
Lossing, leaders of the historical forces of their generation. 
These experienced men recognized the quality of Draper's 

The Services of Lyman Copeland Draper 259 

ability. His field being unique, and almost unrecognized 
on the historical horizon, there was no jealousy of his 
achievements; only on the part of some scholars a slight 
wonder at his choice of so unpromising a field to cultivate. 
To their minds the obscure skirmishes on the frontier were 
of little value, the frontiersmen a wild, rough race of small 
importance. Draper's investigations bore little relation 
to the course of American history as then conceived. It 
was not, indeed, until a generation later, when the Mississippi 
Valley began to play a leading role in American politics, 
that its beginnings became interesting to the majority of 
American historians. 

Draper's relations with Francis Parkman, the historian 
of the French regime in the West, were cordial and com- 
plementary. Parkman was one of the first to appreciate 
the importance and the value of the work Draper was 
accomplishing. He wrote to him in the tone of a tyro to a 
master, asking his advice and exchanging with him docu- 
ments of importance. While Parkman was writing the 
Conspiracy of Pontiac, he frequently appealed to Draper 
for information. Although not himself a French scholar, 
Draper was alert to the interest of Parkman's work, and 
they collaborated for many years. Draper also appreciated 
the value of Spanish sources and obtained what he might of 
transcripts from such archives. His unique opportunity, 
however, was the Anglo-American West, the field of indi- 
vidual effort, of personal initiative unrecorded in archives, 
or public documents, to be sought only in personal papers 
and survivors' memories, to be recovered only with the 
utmost diligence and industry. 

While Sparks and Bancroft were exploiting the resoiu^ces 
of the British Public Record Office, and Parkman was 
having copied thousands of papers from the French archives, 
Draper was wandering through the West on his quest, 
traveling hundreds of miles on foot, horseback, or stage- 


Louise Phelps Kellogg 

coach, often footsore and weary, disappointed, or dis- 
heartened. Frequently he would reach a goal only to find 
the pioneer he sought was dead; often to find the papers 
he eagerly hoped to acquire had been carelessly destroyed 
or devoured by fire. A successful interview, or the recovery 
of some unexpected papers would revive his spirits and set 
him forth upon a further quest. 

It would be useless enumeration to recount the journeys 
he undertook or the parts of the West he visited. These 
may be traced in his notebooks and letters. He himself, 
in 1875, summarized his undertakings as follows: "My 
collections are the systematic result of over forty years' 
labors and 60,000 miles of journeyings . . . the fullest and 
best collection I will venture to say ever collected on the 
Anglo-American history of the West." 

Even after the coming to Wisconsin and assuming the 
care of the Historical Society, Draper continued for many 
years his occasional journeys and his constant correspon- 
dence with pioneer descendants; however, the bulk of his 
manuscript collection was made in the early days of his 
career. During the first decade of his journeyings he 
obtained the Preston, Fleming, Clark, Croghan, Martin, 
Campbell, Sevier, Henderson, Shelby, and Blount papers, 
chief sources for the knowledge of the winning of the West, 
the basis of the history of the Mississippi Valley as an 
American possession. Does anyone seriously believe that 
but for Draper's efforts these papers would now be preserved 
and available for American scholars? 

It has sometimes been offered as a reproach that Draper 
did not keep his promises to his friends the pioneers by 
publishing, as he intended, the biographies of the border 
heroes. With his unerring sense of ultimate values he real- 
ized that the Westward movement was the work of indi- 
vidual initiative; that the western men relied upon their 
own courage and acted independently in each emergency. 

The Services of Lyman Copeland Draper 261 

Draper, however, did not conceive as did Carlyle, that 
each epoch of history was dominated by a single colossus, 
one great hero imposing his will upon a herd of lesser men. 
He, indeed, considered each man in his environment, 
and it was one of his achievements that he grouped the lesser 
lights in galaxies around his suns. This very tendency 
delayed his writings and put a drag upon their completion. 
New facts and certainties were constantly to be sought. 
His standard of thoroughness paralyzed his pen. After a 
long life of ceaseless activity Draper published but a 
single volume of history, chronicling the battle of King's 
Mountain, that daring dash of the men of the western wa- 
ters which, in 1780, saved the southern colonies from com- 
plete subjection to the British. Three other works are 
still in manuscript — an essay on the Mecklenburg Declara- 
tion of Independence, a series of descriptions of border 
forays, and an unfinished life of Boone in five manuscript 
volumes. The truth is. Draper was not a literary genius; 
he lost himself in the abundance of his material; he had no 
sense of historical proportion, no appreciation of the 
relative value of facts. It was thus a travesty to call 
him, as was frequently done during his lifetime, the "Plu- 
tarch of the West." Better compare him, if one must have 
a classical prototype, to the builder of the Alexandrine library, 
than to the entertaining and prolix biographer of the first 

If, however. Draper never wrote the ponderous biogra- 
phies he planned, the cause of research is none the poorer, 
nor did he belie his promises to his expectant friends. Not 
destined himself to proclaim the fame of his favorite heroes 
to the world, he rescued that fame from forgetfulness, and 
has left the materials from which modern biographers and 
modern historians must build their edifices. He himself, 
by the very negation of his ambition, saved for others all 
he could not use himself. 


Louise Phelps Kellogg 

Lacking a sense of proportional values, Draper also ig- 
nored many phases of historical research interesting to 
present-day inquirers. He knew nothing apparently of eco- 
nomic forces; nothing in his collections preserves a memory 
of changing modes of travel, of the growing civilization in 
the West, by which the frontier blended into modern life. It 
is useless to search in the Draper manuscripts for political 
progress or social adjustments. He conceived of the epoch of 
Western wars, beginning with the skirmish in the valley of 
Virginia in 1742, closing with the last battles of the War of 
1812, as an epic period, static in its purposes, apart from the 
common drift of historical influences, peopled by an un- 
common race of men. This conception, while it has its 
limitations, nevertheless renders his collection unique and 
remarkably close-knit, one portion fitting into another 
with precision and effect. To alienate any considerable 
portion of this collection would destroy the usefulness of 
the whole. Draper's manuscripts, like the library he 
built, bear the stamp of his personality and scholarship. 

Then, in the fullness of time, after his services for the 
Society had met fruition, after his efforts at publication had 
resulted in failure, he crowned his unselfish devotion to 
Wisconsin by the legacy of all he possessed to the Society 
he cherished. The personal collection for which he had 
wrought with unceasing labor and unflagging enthusiasm 
for a half -century was bequeathed to the Society whose 
interests he had promoted two score years, and his work 
was complete. The Draper manuscripts became the cap- 
stone of the Society's library, or, to change the figure, the 
crown jewels preserved in its innermost tower. As the 
custodian of the Draper manuscripts, our Society is famed 
throughout the continent; for their sake we are visited by 
eminent scholars, careful historians, and eager genealogists. 
By freely granting the privilege of their use the fame of the 
State Historical Society of Wisconsin has grown great. 

The Services of Lyman Copeland Draper 263 

Nor is that all. When, with the coming of Draper's 
successor, relations were strengthened with the state Uni- 
versity, a school of Western historians arose whose founder 
and leader freely admits his indebtedness to the Draper 
manuscripts. From our state this movement has broad- 
ened and extended until the history of the West is recog- 
nized as an integral and vital part of American history. 
The Westward movement has assumed its rightful place in 
American historiography; new emphasis has been given to > 
the deeds of the frontiersmen; the period of history whose 
recovery was the vision of one has become the heritage of the 

Whatever may be thought of Draper's choice of method, 
or of his type of scholarship, we must honor his devotion 
to an ideal and his unselfish services for the cause of history. 
He himself was a pioneer, breaking fresh trails into an 
uncharted wilderness. As a pioneer educator and libra- 
rian he contributed to our state's institutions; as a pio- 
neer historian of the West he pointed the way for others 
to follow; as a pioneer collector he stands unrivaled; as a 
pioneer benefactor he bequeathed to the State Historical 
Society his most precious treasures. For our "goodly state," 
as he loved to call it, he has left an enduring legacy, and we 
now enter into his labors. When the roll of Wisconsin's 
benefactors shall have been completed and its * 'house of 
fame" prepared for the admiration and emulation of its 
children, there shall be written high on the list the name 
of the founder of our library and the donor of its great 
manuscript collection — Lyman Copeland Draper. 



In a display case of the State Historical Museum at 
Madison may be seen a handsomely-flowered vest of a 
pattern favored by gentlemen three generations ago. 
Looking at it closely the curious visitor will detect a small 
hole through the left front of the garment a short distance 
below the armhole. The tiny aperture affords mute yet 
eloquent evidence of the saddest tragedy in the political 
annals of Wisconsin, for through it sped the bullet which 
found the heart and terminated the life of Charles C. P. 
Arndt in the Council Chamber of the Territory of Wisconsin 
on the morning of February 11, 1842. 

The flight of eighty years has stilled the passions of that 
early day as completely as the fatal bullet stilled the 
heart of Charles Arndt. The obscurity of the grave 
shrouds the memory alike of slayer and slain, and all the 
actors who took part in this once-celebrated drama have 
long since passed from the stage of life. It is at length 
possible, therefore, to review the story free from passion or 
prejudice, and from such a review something of interest 
and instruction may be derived. 

Charles C. P. Arndt, the victim, was the son of Judge 
Arndt, an old and prominent citizen of Green Bay. The 
younger man was born at Wilkesbarre, Pennsylvania, 
October 31, 1811, and came to Green Bay with his parents in 
1824.^ Several years later he returned East to complete 
his education, graduating from Rutgers College in 1832. 
He subsequently studied law at Easton, Pennsylvania, 
where he was admitted to the bar in April, 1835^. Returning 
to his home at Green Bay, he was there admitted to practice 

^ Biographical sketch of Arndt, in Wisconsin State Bar Association Proceedings, I, 

Wisconsin's Saddest Tragedy 


in the courts of Michigan Territory (the Territory of Wiscon- 
sin was organized in 1836), and here he established a family 
and continued in the practice of his profession until his 
untimely death a half dozen years later. In 1839 he was 
elected to the Territorial Council, of which his father, Judge 
Arndt, was also a member, to fill the unexpired term of 
Alexander J. Irwin. 

James R. Vineyard, whose unhappy destiny it was to 
become the slayer of Arndt, was a native of Kentucky and a ^ 
prominent resident of the lead mines.^ He bore an excel- 
lent reputation in his community, and in 1838 was elected to 
represent Grant County in the Territorial Council. Arndt 
was a northern man and a Whig, while Vineyard was a 
southerner and a Democrat. Partisan rivalry was keen 
between the two great parties in those days, and the feeling 
often assumed manifestations of a distinctly personal and 
individual character. There was, moreover, a vigorous 
local rivalry between the mines and Green Bay ; yet despite 
these factors Arndt and Vineyard became close friends. 
Vineyard was a boarder in Arndt's house for a time, and on 
the very morning of the killing, the two men were observed 
in the lobby of the Council Chamber, their arms thrown 
about each other's shoulders in affectionate attitude, 
engaged in familiar discourse. 

In all this there is no hint of the shocking affray which 
was about to develop. Its explanation is to be found rather 
in the manners and ideals of the age to which the actors in the 
tragedy belonged than in any considerations of a special 
or personal character. The immediate circumstances which 
provoked the affray were trivial enough. Governor Doty, 
between whom and the Territorial legislature much bad 
feeling existed, had nominated Enos S. Baker to the office 
of sheriff of Grant County. In the Council, to which 

2 There is a biographical sketch of Vineyard in Memorial HcconI of the Falhers of 
Wisconsin (Madison, 1880), 178. 


M, M, Quaife 

the nomination must go for approval, an intermittent 
debate over it was waged for several days, in the course 
of which much ill feeling was manifested. Arndt, a sup- 
porter of the Governor, favored the nomination, while 
Vineyard opposed it. In the course of the debate on 
Friday forenoon, February 11, a statement made by Arndt 
was characterized as a falsehood by Vineyard.^ Feeling 
ran high, and in this posture of affairs a motion was made 
to adjourn. Before the presiding officer had announced 
the result of the vote, most of the members rose from 
their seats and Arndt and Vineyard resumed their quarrel. 
Arndt demanded an explanation from Vineyard, and the two 
men being close together a physical combat seemed immi- 
nent. It was averted for the moment, however, by the 
demands of the presiding officer for order and the separation 
of the two men by two or three of the members. Arndt 
moved away from Vineyard's desk some eight or ten feet 
to the vicinity of the fireplace, and Vineyard remained at 
his desk until the President announced the adjournment. 
Arndt thereupon approached Vineyard and demanded 
to know if the latter had meant to impute falsehood to 
him in his remarks. Vineyard answered that he had, where- 
upon Arndt struck him in the face; whether with open or 
clenched hand is uncertain. Vineyard reeled or drew 
back a pace and instantly producing a pistol, shot his 
opponent through the breast. The stricken man fell into 
the arms of William S. Dering, who held him until he died 
without uttering a word, perhaps five minutes later. 

The scene of confusion in the Council Chamber which 
attended this swift tragedy may be more easily imagined 

' The newspapers of the day contain much about the affair. A manuscript narrative 
by General William R. Smith, preserved in the State Historical Library, is of first-hand 
authority. Smith was present at the coroner's inquest in the Council Chamber the day 
following the killing, the hearing being held with the body of Arndt "still lying where he 
died, near the fireplace of the chamber," and took shorthand notes of the testimony. 

* It was commonly believed that Arndt was shot through the heart. No post-mortem 
examination seems to have been held. Dering, who held the dying man, testified at the 
inquest that he lived "some eight or ten minutes." 

Wisconsin s Saddest Tragedy 


than described. That a serious quarrel was impending was 
evident to all, and it was this situation, indeed, which had 
caused the hasty adjournment of the session. Yet it 
seems apparent that no one, with the possible exception of 
Vineyard, had anticipated a denouement so swift or with 
consequences so fatal, else more effective interference would 
have been interposed by other members to prevent it. 
Most of all would Judge Arndt, whose bitterness it was 
to witness his son gasp out his life at his feet, have inter- > 
posed to save him. But so quickly was the thing done 
that those who would have interfered to allay the quarrel 
found themselves too late. Thus, President Collins testi- 
fied^ that immediately upon declaring the adjournment, 
fearing further trouble, he left the chair and went toward the 
two men. "I heard words pass between them; Arndt 
struck at, or hit Vineyard. I heard a report of a pistol; 
Arndt staggered back. . . . Vineyard observed to me 
he would not get away. I did not see the Pistol drawn 
. . . saw the muzzle, the butt was covered by his hand." 

In similar fashion Charles J. Learned testified: **harsh 
words passed between Arndt and Vineyard. I went toward 
them; Arndt approached from his seat towards Vineyard; 
both [were] excited. I took Arndt and led him to the 
fireplace; told him it was not time or place to indulge in 
quarrels. In a moment or two, the House adjourned. 
On this being announced, or before, Arndt stepped towards 
Vineyard, and demanded of him in a peremptory tone *if 
he imputed falsehood to him, in the remarks he had made?' 
Vineyard replied, 'he did.' Arndt immediately struck 
him; I heard a discharge of what I presumed to be a pistol; 
saw no pistol drawn; do not know who discharged it." 

Looking upon the dying man. Vineyard observed tiial 
he was sorry for what had been done but it could not be 
helped now, and turned to leave the room. Someone cried 

^ William R. Smith, manuscript record of shorthand notes taken at the inquest. 


M. M. Quaife 

out that he should not be allowed to escape, but nothing 
was done to prevent this and he proceeded to his room in the 
American Hotel across the street. There he reloaded his 
pistol and placed it in his trunk. A few minutes later the 
sheriff arrived and took him into custody. 

The slayer was committed to the Dane County jail, 
where we may leave him for the present while we take 
note of the effect produced upon the community by the 
news of the slaying. The sparse population of the Terri- 
tory (but 30,000 in 1840; perhaps twice as large in 1842), 
the official standing of the principals, the occurrence of 
the crime in the legislative chamber, in the presence of the 
leading men of the Territory — all conspired to produce a 
sensation of the first magnitude. The first official expres- 
sion upon the matter came from the Council itself. On 
the morning following the killing of Arndt, Morgan L. 
Martin of Green Bay addressed the Council upon the 
subject of his character and death, closing with a series of 
resolutions which were unanimously adopted. They ex- 
pressed, in appropriate language, the shock felt by the 
Council over the event, conveyed its sympathy to the widow 
of Arndt, and provided that the body of the slain councillor 
be conveyed to his home at the expense of the Legislative 
Assembly.* Similar proceedings were gone through in the 
Assembly, after which the regular order of the day was 
dispensed with and at noon both branches of the Legislature 
assembled in the Council Chamber to attend upon the 
funeral ceremonies. 

Thus far, apparently, all had been done with decorous 
unanimity. But scarcely had the corpse departed from 
the capitol on its dreary journey to Green Bay, when 
personal and political considerations began to assert them- 
selves. When the Council convened on Monday morning, 

® Report of proceedings in Council, February 12, in Madison Express, February 12, 


Wisconsin'' s Saddest Tragedy 


February 14, the President stated that he had received a 
communication from Vineyard, tendering his resignation 
from that body, and asked if it was the desire of members 
that it be presented.^ That there had been some prior 
caucusing by members upon the procedure to be adopted 
by the Council is evident from the discussion which ensued. 
Ebenezer Brigham stated that as the oldest member of the 
Council it had been thought proper, ''after consultation,'' 
that he should submit such remarks and motions as the 
case might seem to call for. Disclaiming all unkind 
feeling toward Vineyard, he observed that the latter, by his 
action, had imprinted an indelible stain upon the Legislative 
Assembly and the Territory. For the Council to permit 
him to select his own mode of severing his connection with 
it would be to give this stain a deeper dye. He moved, 
therefore, that the communication be returned unread to 
its author. Some discussion followed, in the course of 
which the Council's right to refuse to receive the communi- 
cation was called in question, which was brought to an end 
by an indignant speech by John H. Tweedy of Milwaukee. 
"A most flagrant outrage has been committed by a mem- 
ber of this body," he declared; "the dignity of the Council 
has been insulted and an indelible stigma has been cast upon 
the character of the Territory. It is our first and solemn 
duty to wipe out this foul stain, as far as possible, by pro- 
claiming to the world in just and fitting terms our abhor- 
rence and detestation of the course, and by renouncing 
all connection with the perpetrator of this offense. . . . 
This Council, if it has any regard to decency and it.s own 
dignity, will not consider, hear, or receive any communica- 
tion, of any character, from the author of the letter before 
us, until his connection with this body is dissolved. Tliat 
connection she will sever in her oion ivay — not by permission 

Report of proceedings, in Madison Wiscon,v'n Enquirer, Fchruary i.S, ISW. 


M, M. Quaife 

to retire, but by ignominious expulsion — and all other 
business will be laid aside until after that work is done." 

The motion to return the communication unread was 
passed, only Moses M. Strong voting in the negative; and 
the following resolution was then presented by Mr. Brigham : 
Whereas the practice, hitherto unknown and unsus- 
pected, of entering the legislative halls of our Territory with 
deadly weapons concealed about the person, has been 
within a few days introduced under circumstances justly 
calculated to arouse the deep indignation of our common 
country, and to disgrace the character of the Legislative 

"And whereas James R. Vineyard, a member of the 
Council, did, on Friday the eleventh instant, immediately 
after the adjournment, and in the presence of all the 
members and officers of this body, inflict a mortal wound 
upon the Hon. Charles C. P. Arndt, late a representative 
upon this floor from the county of Brown, by discharging 
a pistol which was concealed about his person, of which 
wound the said Hon. C. C. P. Arndt immediately expired. 

"And whereas it is becoming this Council, in a manner 
appropriate to the occasion, to express to the world the 
feelings of horror and indignation with which we witnessed 
the perpetration, it is believed without justifiable cause, 
of this most wanton outrage against the life of our fellow 
member, the peace of society, the purity of our public 
councils, and the laws of God and man. 

"And whereas by this foul deed, so disgraceful to the 
place and the occasion, the said James R. Vineyard has 
shown himself unworthy to be a member of this honorable 
body, therefore 

"Resolved that James R. Vineyard, a member of the 
Council from the county of Grant, be and hereby is ex- 
pelled, and the seat lately occupied by him declared vacant." 

Wisconsin s Saddest Tragedy 


Moses Strong, who had already assumed the position of 
counsel for Vineyard, requested a division of the question, 
explaining that he was willing to vote for the preamble but 
not for the resolution. It was accordingly divided; the 
preamble was passed unanimously, and the resolution of 
expulsion with only the vote of Strong in the negative. 

The Legislature had thus done all that lay within its 
power to express its condemnation of the killing. Well 
had it been for the reputation of Wisconsin had her press 
and her courts of justice taken a similar stand. The course 
pursued by these two agencies of society left much to be 
desired, and went far toward justifying the contemporary 
eastern opinion — against the truth of which the territorial 
press was ever fond of inveighing — that Wisconsin was a 
region where lawlessness and violence flourished almost 
without restraint. 

Some seven or eight papers comprised the roll of the 
territorial press in 1842. Their course with reference to the 
tragedy seems to indicate clearly that the press of that 
day failed to comprehend the modern distinction between 
news and political propaganda. The majority of the 
papers in the Territory were outspoken in their condemna- 
tion of Vineyard's act; two, however, the Madison Express 
and the Platteville Wisconsin Whig, had no word of dis- 
approval for the killing, assuming an attitude of strict 
"neutrality" with reference to the issue involved. There 
ensued a wordy newspaper war, the course of which may be 
sufficiently illustrated from the two Madison papers, the 
Express and the Enquirer. 

Both papers were published on Saturday, the day 
after the tragedy. Although it was far the most sensational 
news item in the history of the Territory, the Express 
disposed of it in a single paragraph which briefly stated the 
bare fact as to the shooting and concluded with these words 


M, M, Quaife 

"We decline giving any further particulars, as the whole 
affair is to undergo judicial investigation." 

The Enquirer, on the other hand, appeared with the 
columns of the entire editorial page boxed in heavy mourn- 
ing, as they had been for President Harrison a few months 
before. Describing the event, the editor continued with 
this comment: "We shall not, in the present justly excited 
state of public feeling, make such remarks in relation to this 
high-handed outrage as would seem to be called for — 
suffice it for the present to say that the dastardly and 
fiendish perpetrator of this deed, which has disgraced our 
legislative halls and our Territory, is in the hands of the law, 
from which it is to be hoped he will not escape without that 
condign punishment which justice would seem to demand. 
Individual security — the cause of public morality — every- 
thing connected with the well-being and peace of society — 
requires that the severest penalties of the law should be 

The ensuing issue of the Enquirer^ followed up this be- 
ginning with two strong editorials, one on the subject of 
carrying concealed weapons, the other on the attitude of the 
territorial press upon the killing of Arndt. "The press," 
it stated, "is justly considered the index to the public 
sentiment of the community where it is located. This is 
equally true in regard to the political, moral, or religious 
sentiments of any people. . . . Hence the solemn respon- 
sibility which rests upon the conductors of the public press. 
They are set not only as the guardians of the public right, 
but of the public fame; and when any act of violence and 
outrage occurs, they possess the power to a vast extent to 
place the responsibility where it belongs, or to involve a 
whole community of virtuous and innocent persons in the 
disgrace and infamy which belong only to the few." 

^ There was a change of control in the paper just at this juncture, and this issue 
appeared on Wednesday, February 23, instead of on Saturday, as usual. 

Wisconsin's Saddest Tragedy 


In the editorial controversy which followed, the motives 
of each party to the debate were pointedly called in ques- 
tion. "The Enquirer,'' said the Wisconsin Whig,^ "appears 
to be particularly hostile to Mr. Vineyard; there must be 
some cause for the course of this paper, other than the death 
of Mr. Arndt; and the malicious attempt of that print to 
prejudice public opinion against Mr. Vineyard is worthy 
of a man of the most narrow soul and fiendlike disposition, 
and we trust that the people who read the editorial remarks 
of the Enquirer will not be biased by them, but will let the 
facts develop themselves in due course of law." The Madi- 
son Express thus paid its respects^^ to the Milwaukee Sentinel, 
which was edited by Harrison Reed: "It is painful to us, 
and doubtless to every feeling heart, and must be doubly 
so to the associates and relatives of all parties concerned to 
have this matter [the killing of Arndt] brought before the 
public week after week. We did not believe at first, nor 
do we now believe it a fit subject for newspaper discussion. 
But there appear to be persons who, vampire-like, are 
thirsting for the blood of the survivor, and who assail 
everyone who does not join with them in their cry for 
blood. Among these bloodhounds is Harrison Reed, senior 
editor of the Milwaukee Sentinel, the Judas who suffered his 
press to be sold to the opposition. This person in an article 
in his paper undertakes to censure the conduct of Col. 
Field and Hon. Moses M. Strong for consenting to take up 
on the part of the defense. The facts of the case are now, 
we presume, all before the public, and we believe no one 
with a heart less black than that of the senior editor of 
the Milwaukee Sentinel and Farmer will call it a crime 
of the first magnitude, nor wish the prisoner to coi no to 
trial without the aid of counsel." 

* No file of the Whig is known to be in existence. The quotation hero presented \% 
copied from a reprint in the Madison Express, February 19, IHH. 
>° Madison Express, February 26, 1842. 


M. ilf . Quaife 

To these broadsides the editors who were their objects 
rephed with equal vigor. "May a member of the legisla- 
ture," asked the editor of the Enquirer, "in a legislative 
hall, in the presence of the whole Council and its officers, 
at high noon for an assault which could not have endangered 
life or limb, be shot dead upon the spot without a mark of 
disapprobation from the public press? While we remain 
connected w4th it we say no Never! Never, while we have 
the direction of a public journal, may we become deaf to the 
cry of a brother's blood. Never may we become so dead 
to the sympathies of human nature and the claims of bleeding 
humanity as to refuse to condemn a deed of darkness which 
might well spread horror and gloom over a whole nation, 
for the sake of saving the feelings (?) or shielding from jus- 
tice the blood-guilty wretch who has thrown himself out of 
the pale of virtuous sympathy." 

"The Express,'' said the Sentinel, "in consequence of a 
personal pique against Mr. Arndt, refuses to notice the fact 
other than as a 'melancholy affair' which was undergoing 
judicial investigation! The Editor of the Express is the 
printer for the Council and claims to be the organ of the 
Whigs here, but in this thing he has shown himself unworthy 
of the name of man and has called down upon his head 
the condemnation of the respectable of all parties here, 
for the niggardly spirit manifested in refusing to condemn 
this outrage." 

The legal proceedings over the prosecution of Vineyard 
were as tedious as the newspaper discussion M^as spirited. 
The coroner's inquest over the body of Arndt merely 
found that he had come to his death as the result of a 
pistol wound inflicted by James R. Vineyard. A hearing 
before Justice-of-the-Peace Seymour followed, resulting 
in Vineyard's commitment to jail on a charge of murder. 
He had secured able counsel in the persons of Moses M. 
Strong of Mineral Point and Alexander P. Field, secretary of 

Wisconsin s Saddest Tragedy 


the Territory. Through their efforts a writ of habeas corpus 
was appHed for before Judge Dunn of the Iowa County 
circuit; that official granted the appHcation and admitted 
Vineyard to bail in the sum of twenty thousand dollars — 
ten thousand as principal and ten thousand as surety. 
At the May term of the district court for Dane County an 
indictment for manslaughter was returned by the grand 
jury, and on application of Vineyard's attorneys the case 
was continued to the November term of court. At this . 
term the case was again continued until the May term of 
1843. Then, fifteen months after the killing of Arndt, 
application for a change of venue was made, and granted 
by the court. In October following, the case finally came 
to trial before Judge David Irvin at Monroe ; when given to 
the jury that body promptly rendered a verdict of ac- 
quittal, and the prosecution of Vineyard for the slaying of 
Arndt was at an end. 

The news of this outcome of the trial provoked a fresh 
storm of editorial disapproval throughout the northern and 
eastern portions of the Territory. Every step in the course 
of the long-drawn-out judicial proceedings was sharply 
called in question, and charges of bribery and miscarriage of 
justice were openly made. "So far as a legal decision can 
exculpate deeds of atrocity and blood," wrote the editor 
of the Milwaukee Democrat, "and vindicate the character 
of the man who perpetrates them, Vineyard is to pass in 
community as a man whose character is unimpeachable. 
But it will be in vain for him, or for those bribed and perjured 
friends of his, who have, to screen him, enacted this per- 
version of law — this mockery of justice — this contempt for 
the feelings of an outraged community, to attempt to wash 
out the blood of that foul assassination, or to stifle the cry 
of that blood for retribution. . . . Our horror at the 
deed is hardly greater than our astonishment, and indigna- 
tion, and shame, at the thought that in such a case, and wit li 


M, M. Quaife 

the facts in the case so fully known and so notorious, a 
jury could yet be found in our community capable of pro- 
nouncing a verdict of acquittal. They have taken the 
unenviable responsibility of fastening upon our Territory 
the reputation, at home and abroad, of having connived 
at this work of assassination; and that in the most deliberate 
and formal manner, in their official capacity, and while 
sworn faithfully to bring a decision according to the evidence 
of facts in the case." 

In similar strain was the comment of the Racine Advo- 
cate, edited by Marshall M. Strong, one of the most brilliant 
men of his day in Wisconsin, "This murder," he wrote in 
reviewing the case, "was perpetrated in the upper house of 
the territorial legislature, almost during its session, in open 
day before twenty witnesses, by one of the highest elective 
officers of the Territory. The criminal is first permitted to 
go at large on bail, then indicted for manslaughter, and 
finally acquitted of that even by a jury. This will forever 
remain a foul blot upon our Territory. We do hereby, and 
shall at all times pronounce the transaction murder. We 
enter our protest against the decision of the Court and Jury; 
and we hope that Vineyard, although he has escaped the 
legal punishment due to his crime, will never escape the 
effect of public opinion and the public abhorrence of this 
bloody tragedy." 

More scathing even, was the disapproval expressed by 
Louis P. Harvey, editor of the Southport American and a 
future governor of Wisconsin. Reviewing the proceedings, 
he concluded: "Every circumstance, from the commence- 
ment to the conclusion of this farce in the shape of a prose- 
cution, has pointed to this result. But the court that has 
thus wiped the stain of guilt from an acknowledged criminal, 
has left marks of disgrace upon itself that time cannot 

More than one critic stressed the charge that the trial 
of Vineyard disclosed the existence of two brands of justice 

Wisconsin s Saddest Tragedy 


in Wisconsin, one for the poor and friendless, the other 
for the rich and influential. **It was a short time after this 
occurrence [the killing of Arndt]," said the Southport 
Telegraph, *'that one Coffee, in Iowa County, for provoca- 
tion, took the life of a fellow-mortal. He was poor and 
friendless — mark the result. At the next term of the 
court he was sentenced to be hung by the neck until he was 
dead, and without delay the sentence of the court was 
carried into effect. James R. Vineyard, with a weapon 
procured for some special purpose, after provoking a 
conflict with an unarmed man, shot him dead. He was 
rich and respectable — mark the result. He now walks 
abroad with the honest and upright citizen. Is it strange 
under the circumstances we have no mob law?" 

"At the time of the commission of the act," wrote one 
who signed himself "An Old Citizen of Brown" in the Green 
Bay Republican,^^ "there was no law in existence for the 
removal of criminal cases, which would reach this case, 
but one was passed by the legislature, and the case is 
removed to Green County; and there remains untried 
until October, 1843, nearly two years after the commission 
of the crime!! In the meantime other crimes are punished; 
other murderers, who have taken human life under cir- 
cumstances less atrocious and more justifiable, are tried, 
convicted, and executed, within a few months, and but a 
short distance from the scene of the 'Madison tragedy.' 
But others had not the standing in society ivhich Vineyard 
had!! The other unfortunate was destitute of friends, and 
perhaps was without property and money. Moreover, 
he belonged not to the highest branch of the legislature, and took 
not the life of his victim in the legislative hall and iu the 
sight of his fellows! No! Unfortunately he was in the 
lower walks of life, and killed his opponent in a tavern 

" I am disposed to think that the autlior of Ihis letter was Morgan L. ^far^in. 
who was a member of the Council from Brown County at the time Arndt was killed. 


M. M. Quaife 

It is perhaps impossible at this late day to determine 
the reasonableness and validity of these complaints. It 
may be taken for granted that Vineyard's able counselors 
took advantage of every feature of the slipshod system of 
administering justice which told in favor of their client. 
If there was ever any evidence of bribery or perjury it 
has perished with the records of the trial, and we must, 
therefore, dismiss these charges from consideration. But 
even assuming that there was no outright violation of recog- 
nized practices, it is not difficult to see that Vineyard's 
wealth and his political and family influence may still 
have procured his acquittal. 

Such influences would naturally accomplish their ends 
by indirection, leaving no trace behind for the historian to 
follow. In one respect adverted to by the "Old Citizen of 
Brown," however, we find what must be regarded as at least 
a suggestive coincidence. At the time of Arndt's killing 
there was no law for the removal of criminal cases appli- 
cable to this case. Six weeks later, within a few days 
after the killer had secured his release from prison on bail, 
he wrote to Strong, his attorney: **I wish most sincerely 
that you may not neglect to get a law passed changing 
venue in criminal cases, as you know the necessity of passing 
such a law.''^^ Now Strong was, in addition to being 
Vineyard's attorney, one of the most astute and influential 
politicians in the Territory. At the succeeding session of 
the Legislature (for 1842-43) he was elected president 
of the Council, and at this session the desired act was 
passed. Toward the end of March it became a law, and 
in May following, the change of venue which it made 
possible for Vineyard was taken. Evidently it was this for 
which counsel had been maneuvering, for with the change 

12 Letter of March 21, 1842, in Strong MSS., Wis. Hist. Library. Italics are by the 
present writer. 

1^ There was a vehement row going on between the Legislature and Governor Doty 
during the winter of 1842-43, as one outcome of which there was a regular and a special 
session of the Legislature. The act in question became a law at the special session. 

Wisconsin's Saddest Tragedy 


of venue granted they permitted the case to come to trial 
at the ensuing term of court. 

Of the actual trial I have found but one contemporary 
description, written by a correspondent of the New York 
Tribune The writer, who purports to be a traveler in the 
West, gives a sufficiently spirited picture of the scene, 
dwelling particularly upon the conduct of Strong. The 
jury, he says, from which every man giving outward signs 
of intelligence was rejected, was such a group as could 
not have been matched *'this side of Botany Bay." Most ' 
of the article is devoted to an account of Strong's speech 
for the defendant. It relates that before commencing the 
address he had a pitcher of whiskey placed upon the table 
before him, from which, as he proceeded, he drank long and 
frequently, so that before the speech was half concluded 
he reeled to and fro like a drunken man. The truth of this 
story was denied by Strong, but the incident fixed upon 
him a colorful sobriquet which he tried in vain to live down, 
and for years he was known as *'the knight of the pitcher." 

From the vantage point of eighty years' detachment 
the Vineyard -Arndt affair is chiefly interesting for the light 
it sheds upon the ideals and practices of society in pioneer 
Wisconsin. It is easy now to perceive that Vineyard and 
Arndt were alike common victims of conditions for which 
they as individuals had but slight responsibility. 

Today it would be inconceivable that a member of Con- 
gress or of our state legislature should carry a loaded gun 
to the sessions and with it, in the heat of sudden anger, 
blot out the life of a fellow member and friend. In 1842, 
however, dueling was still a well-known custom in the 
United States, and personal affrays between men of stand- 
ing in the community were a recognized feature of life in 
the lead-mine region of Wisconsin. Vineyard was a 
Kentuckian who had been transplanted to the lead mines. 

Issue of Novembefr 4, 1843. 


M, M, Quaife 

and neither in Kentucky nor in southwest Wisconsin 
did society reprobate severely such action as he took in the 
affray with Arndt. It was several years after this that 
another transplanted Kentuckian, living in central Illinois, 
Abraham Lincoln, felt it incumbent upon him to participate 
in a duel. Less than four years before, the survivor of the 
tragic Graves-Cilley duel had publicly disclaimed, on the 
floor of Congress, responsibility for his act. "I am not, 
and never have been, the advocate of the anti-social and 
unchristian practice of dueling. I have never, up to this 
day, fired a dueling pistol. ... Public opinion is prac- 
tically the paramount law of the land; every other law, 
both human and divine, ceases to be observed; yea, with- 
ers and perishes, in contact with it. It was this paramount 
law of this nation and of this House that forced me, under 
the penalty of dishonor, to subject myself to the code 
which impelled me unwillingly into this tragical affair. 
Upon the heads of this nation, and at the doors of this 
House, rests the blood with which my unfortunate hands 
have been stained." A decade after Vineyard killed Arndt 
at Madison, Senator Foote menaced Senator Benton with 
a cocked and loaded pistol on the floor of the United States 
Senate, and several years later still, John F. Potter of Wis- 
consin won unbounded popularity throughout the North by 
his proposal to fight a duel with bowie knives. 

Coming to the mines, the carrying of concealed weapons 
was a prevalent practice in this period. A year before the 
Arndt killing, Charles Bracken, a prominent resident of the 
mines and a member of the Territorial Legislature, seriously 
wounded Henry Welch, editor of the Miners' Free Press, 
in a shooting affray on the streets of Mineral Point. No 
punishment was meted out in this case, and Bracken even 

Such a practice, naturally, leaves little by way of direct record for the historian. 
The editor of the Belmont Gazette stated (November 9, 1836) that the practice of carrying 
knives and pistols prevailed "to an alarming extent." The editor of the Galena Gazette^ 
decrying the stabbing affrays of the time, stated (January 21, 1837) that almost every 
man and boy carried a dirk. 

w iscousiu^ s Saddest Tfagedy 


had the assurance to write a letter threatening the editors of 
the Madison Enquirer with chastisement, because of the 
manner in which that paper had commented on his affray 
with Welch. It was five years after the Arndt tragedy 
that Denis Murphy was shot down at Mineral Point, for 
pubhcly cowhiding an attorney of that place. A year later 
still, Enos S. Baker, the very man over the question of 
whose nomination for sheriff of Grant County Arndt was 
killed, cowhided Joseph T. Mills at Lancaster, and a few - 
days later, armed with a six-barrel pistol, met Mills, armed 
this time with a shotgun, and was assisted from the field 
with several buckshot in his stomach. 

We cite these cases, every one dealing with men of stand- 
ing and leadership, merely by way of illustrating the state 
of public opinion in the region to which Vineyard belonged. 
To that opinion his attorneys confidently appealed when 
they secured the change of venue for their client to Green 
County. Their confidence was justified by his prompt 
acquittal even on a mere charge of manslaughter. It was 
evidenced even more clearly before the trial and while the 
indictment against Vineyard was still pending, when he 
offered himself as candidate for the office of sheriff of 
Grant County and came within a few votes of being elected. 
A few years later he was elected to membership in the first 
constitutional convention, and in 1849 to a seat in the 
Legislature of the new state. 

It may be objected that the foregoing contradicts what 
has been previously said as to the widespread condemna- 
tion of Vineyard by the press of the Territory. The con- 
tradiction is apparent, merely, rather than real. No paper 
of the mining region spoke in condemnation of Vineyard 
or in criticism of the court procedure upon his case. The 
clamor of criticism and condemnation came wholly from 
that portion of the Territory which lay without the mines. 
Between the people of the mines, where Southern stock and 

M. M, Quaife 

Southern ideals predominated, and those of the eastern and 
northern counties, which were settled largely by New Eng- 
land and New York stock, was a wide disparity of ideals and 
habits. The sentiment of the North had been slowly setting 
against the practice of dueling for many years, when in 1838 
the feeling was intensified by the senseless killing of Jona- 
than Cilley of Maine by William R. Graves of Kentucky. In 
that duel, George W. Jones of the lead mines, Wisconsin's 
delegate in Congress, had acted as second to one of the prin- 
cipals; for this he was severely criticized by his constituents 
in eastern Wisconsin, and this criticism contributed mate- 
rially to his defeat by James D. Doty when he sought to suc- 
ceed himself in the delegacy. The affray between Arndt 
and Vineyard illuminates as with a flash of lightning the dif- 
fering ideals of the mining region and the eastern part of the 
state with respect to individual combat. To the latter sec- 
tion, Vineyard's act was plain murder, and the actor merited 
the rope ; among the mines the same act was plainly regarded 
as an incident, regrettable in itself no doubt, which was 

There is much contemporary newspaper evidence to this effect. Judge Knapp, 
speaking twenty-five years later, thus summed up the matter: "That election [of Doty to 
succeed Jones] may be said to have settled the question against dueling, as one of the 
institutions of Wisconsin, and placed the law-abiding above the chivalry in this state." 
Wis. Hist. Colls. VI, 374. 

An incident of the political campaign of 1840 sheds interesting light upon the question 
in point. An attack was made upon ex-Governor Dodge, at the moment Democratic 
candidate for the delegacy to Congress, on the ground that he was addicted to the custom 
of carrying deadly weapons. In particular it was asserted that on an electioneering 
visit to Milwaukee he was armed with a bowie knife, the fact being revealed by the chamber- 
maid who cared for his room. For this the Sentinel ridiculed Dodge, and the Courier, 
defending him, attacked the motives of the opposition editor. Upon this attack the editor 
of the Sentinel indulged in some illuminating comment: "We should have deemed the 
knife affair as deserving of but a passing notice, had it not been that we have upon frequent 
occasions charged ex-Gov. Dodge with the cowardly practice of arming to the teeth when 
among his friends, and been as often met with denials and charges of falsehood and 
malevolence from such men as he of the Courier — and that too when they knew our state- 
ments to be true. The public mind, in its present refined state, is always ready to con- 
demn such practices — and it was abused and we were vilified to screen Gen. Dodge from 
contempt." Dodge's apologists did not deny that he had the knife, but they asserted that 
it was carried for possible use as a camp utensil. For the incident see Milwaukee Courier, 
July 14, 1841; Sentinel, July 20, 1841; Madison Enquirer, July 28, 1841. The latter, 
defending Dodge, said: "Gen. Dodge, born and educated in the west, has imbibed the 
feelings and habits peculiar to it, which in some respects differ from the cold and studied 
manners of the old states, and it is not a matter of wonder that he should, from a force 
of habit indulge in the practices so generally countenanced and necessary in a new coun- 

Wisconsin s Saddest T raged 


bound to be met with on occasion in the pubhc Hfe of a 

It remains to notice the gravest charge of all made by the 
critics of the court. Were there in fact two brands of justice 
in Wisconsin, one reserved for the prominent citizen, the 
other meted out to the poor and humble? In so far as 
personal affrays are concerned, it seems evident that an 
affirmative answer must be given. Dueling was a practice 
distinctly reserved for gentlemen; the humble and obscure 
were alike free from the obligations of the code and denied 
the privilege of exemption from legal responsibility when on 
occasion they essayed to practice it. Pioneer Wisconsin 
had few scruples against capital punishment, and those 
who took human life in bar-room brawls or ordinary mur- 
ders were repeatedly sent to the gallows. When, however, 
a sheriff shot up a political opponent, or an editor fell in an 
impromptu duel with a politician whom he had deliberately 
goaded to the encounter, there was no force of public opin- 
ion powerful enough to restrain or punish the malefactors. 
It seems clear that to the people of the mines Vineyard's 
case belonged to the latter category; hence he was restored 
to freedom, with rights of citizenship unimpaired; while 
Coffee, who killed his man in a tavern brawl, was sent to 
the gallows. 

It is interesting to note that Charles Dickens, who was making his first American 
journey at the time of the Arndt tragedy, beheved that it grew out of slavery sentiment. 
In his American Notes he cites two articles from Wisconsin newspapers on this event and 
concludes that this incident and other similar ones "lead to the just presumption that 
the character of the parties concerned was formed in slave districts, and brutalized by 
slave customs." 

W. A. Titus 



No more shall the war-cry sever, 
Nor the winding river be red. 

Few locations in Wisconsin combine archaeological 
and historical interest to so great a degree as does Butte des 
Morts, a hamlet in Winnebago County situated on the 
north side of the Fox River about a mile or two below 
its confluence with the Wolf. The present day village 
occupies the slightly curved summit of a broad natural 
mound that rises gradually and gracefully from the river 

The view from this elevation is magnificent. On the one 
side is the river with its broad marshes and wild rice fields 
which harbor untold numbers of game birds now, as they 
did when the Indians were the only inhabitants. In the 
opposite direction, the eye wanders over miles of fertile and 
highly cultivated farms which were covered with virgin 
forests a century ago. 

It is not remarkable that the aborigines were early 
attracted to a spot so favored by nature, and of such stra- 
tegic importance in the control of the great inland water- 
way. The Indian could replenish his food supply with 
fish and fowl from the river in front and with deer and 
other game from the forests in the rear. In the tribal 
wars before the coming of the French explorers, the advan- 
tage of dominating this canoe route must have been con- 
siderable, and after hostilities began between the French 
and the Fox Indians, the latter made this one of several 
fortified points that gave them control of the Fox- Wisconsin 
waterway for many years. 

Historic Spots in Wisconsin 


The early French voyageurs found on this eminence an 
extensive burying ground of the Winnebago and therefore 
designated the place *'Grand Butte des Morts" or Great 
Hill of the Dead. There is a tradition that one of the 
Jesuit missionaries and his attendants were massacred by 
the Winnebago on this spot. There are also numerous 
traditions of fierce battles that were fought here, first 
between the Fox and the Winnebago tribes, and later be- 
tween the Foxes and the French forces. These accounts ' 
lack historical confirmation, but it is well known that the 
earlier explorers found the Winnebago located here, while 
later accounts show the Foxes in possession, and it is not 
probable that the earlier possessors were ejected without 
a conflict. There is a Winnebago legend to the effect 
that the slaughter of their people by a Fox band was the 
beginning of the burying ground at Grand Butte des Morts. 
It is an historical fact that during the first half of the eight- 
eenth century, the Fox Indians held the river that bears 
their name against the passage of the French traders, and 
that numerous attempts were made by the French forces to 
dislodge these savage opponents. One account states that 
the French commander, Marin, after defeating the Foxes 
at Little Butte des Morts within the present city of Neenah, 
pursued them to Grand Butte where a fierce battle was 
fought, probably on the opposite side of and about two 
miles up the river, where Robert Grignon located a century 

After the expulsion of the Foxes from the region, Butte 
des Morts became a Menominee village and it is so rated 
in the report of the Wisconsin Indian census for 1817. 
It was visited in 1829 by James D. Doty and Morgan 
L. Martin on their return trip from the Four Lakes region, 
and Martin reports it as a Menominee village at that 
time. It was at this time and place that Doty and Martin 
met Major Twiggs and Lieut. Jeft'erson Davis of the regular 


W. A. Titus 

army, both of whom were later prominent in the Southern 

In 1832 when Black Hawk invaded Wisconsin with his 
band of Sauks and Foxes, Colonel Stambaugh raised a 
force of Menominee warriors to assist the white settlers in 
repelling the savage enemy. His command consisted of 
over three hundred Indians led by a number of well-known 
chiefs, among whom were Oshkosh, Souligny, Carron, 
Waunauko, Pewautenot, and La Mott. These recruits 
were divided into two companies ; one under the command of 
Augustin Grignon of Butte des Morts, and the other under 
George Johnston of Green Bay. The expedition pro- 
ceeded from Green Bay to Butte des Morts, where the 
Fox River was crossed and the march continued southward. 
The Menominee were generally friendly to the white settlers, 
and were always accounted among the best of the Wisconsin 

Butte des Morts was undoubtedly a trading post during 
the period of French and British occupancy, but the earlier 
references to it are only casual. Later the name occurs 
frequently in the records of the Green Bay traders, and it 
seems to have been a winter and summer post, unlike some 
of the minor trading posts that were occupied during the 
winter only. Augustin Grignon was an agent at the Butte 
des Morts trading post for a number of years before he 
became a permanent resident. His nephew, Robert Grignon, 
located about three miles farther up the river and on the 
opposite side, near the traditional site of the battle between 
the French and the Fox Indians. Augustin was undoubt- 
edly the ablest of the Grignon family, and many stories are 
told of his courtesy and hospitality. A grandson of Charles 
de Langlade, he inherited much of the energy of his dis- 
tinguished ancestor. He was well educated for his time, 
and his home at Butte des Morts was a rendezvous for the 
noted men of early Wisconsin. Eleazar Williams, who 

Historic Spots in Wisconsin 


posed as the *'lost Dauphin," was a guest in Grignon's 
home in 1852. In 1858 Dr. Lyman Draper spent consider- 
able time with Grignon, then seventy-eight years of age, and 
heard from his Hps the well known "Recollections" which 
make such a valuable addition to early Wisconsin history. 
Augustin Grignon died in 1860 and may well be called 
"the last of the Indian traders." 

According to Louis Porlier's narrative, the trading post 
of Augustin Grignon and the older Porlier, then in partner- 
ship, was located in 1818 at the mouth of Overton's Creek, 
two miles below Butte des Morts village. The younger 
Porlier remembered the Grand Butte in his boyhood days 
as a Menominee village of about 100 wigwams, which 
was then considered a large Indian town. There were 
extensive planting grounds adjacent to the camp, and 
Porlier states that the natives showed considerable skill 
in maintaining the fertility of the soil by a crude system 
of crop rotation. He says that each family worked its own 
patch of land instead of working in common as was cus- 
tomary with some Indian communities. The products of 
the cultivated fields were supplemented by the wild rice 
which they gathered from the river marshes in front of their 
village as well as from the more distant Buffalo Lake (Lac 
du Boeuf), and Lakes Pucka way and Poygan. With 
something of an understanding of the relation between food 
and climate, they subsisted largely on grains and vege- 
tables in summer and on game in the winter. There were 
a number of other Menominee villages in the region, the one 
at Shawano being their seat of government and the residence 
of their grand sachem and head chiefs. Porlier states that 
in the early days the Menominee were disinclined to inter- 
marry with the Winnebago, whom they considered an inferior 

Louis Porlier married a daughter of Augustin Grignon 
and succeeded the latter as trader at tlie liutte des Movis 

288 W.A. Titus I 

post. By this time the business had become very un- 
profitable, due to the scarcity of fur-bearing animals and 
the demoralization of the Indians, who would procure all 
the credit possible without any intention of repaying the 
advances made to them. 

In the early part of August, 1827 a great council was 
held at Little Butte des Morts with the Winnebago, Chip- 
pewa, and Menominee tribes. During this meeting news 
came of the hostile acts of the Winnebago of the Mississippi 
region where a number of white settlers had been killed 
in a treacherous manner. Major William Whistler, then 
in command at Fort Howard, made it clear to the Winne- 
bago who came to the council that they must surrender 
the aggressors Red Bird and Wekau to stand trial for 
murder or face a war of extermination. The result was 
that these warriors surrendered soon after at the portage, 
were tried for murder, and sentenced to death. Red Bird 
died in prison before the date set for the execution, and 
Wekau's sentence was commuted to life imprisonment 
after all the arrangements had been made for his hanging. 

In 1848 another council was held with the Menominee 
Indians near Lake Poygan, Commissioner Medill tried 
to induce the natives to submit to removal to a reservation, 
but found them obdurate. Their tendency to roam freely 
over a large area of the state was retarding settlement 
and it was felt necessary to threaten them with eviction 
if they longer refused to accept the terms prescribed in the 
treaty of 1836. Realizing the uselessness of further resist- 
ance, the chiefs agreed to remove to the reservation near 
Shawano which had been provided for them, and the 
aborigines disappeared forever from the vicinity of the 
Fox River which had been their favorite camping ground 
for centuries. 

The Butte des Morts of today is an attractive place as 
it was in the long ago. The marshes and wild rice fields 

Historic Spots in Wisconsin 


through which the river meanders are still the hunters' 
paradise, and summer cottages and hunters' lodges line the 
banks for a considerable distance from the village. The 
dense forests of a century ago have disappeared and beauti- 
ful farms have taken their place, but one may well imagine 
that the river and the wild rice marshes have changed but 
little since the days when Nicolet, Marquette, La Salle, 
JoUiet, Hennepin, Carver, and a host of lesser explorers 
skirted the shore line of the sinister Hill of the Dead. 



My neighbor, Mrs. Warren H. Smith, of Waukesha, has in 
her possession a letter written by her father, Alfred B. Hunt, when 
the gold fever gripped Wisconsin and lured thousands of her 
sturdy sons to the newly discovered Eldorado of California. 
Though posted at Rochester, it was written on a farm at Cald- 
well's Prairie in the Town of Waterford, Racine County, where 
Mr. Hunt had settled in an early day and where he was married 
in April, 1843, to Caroline E. Wood, the sixteen year old daughter 
of a pioneer of 1839. Since the letter is a contemporary witness 
of what was then going on in every community of American stock 
in southern Wisconsin, its publication will, no doubt, be of 
interest to the readers of our Magazine. 

Rochester, January 25th 1850. 

Dear Friend Ward: 

In answer to your kind and gentlemanly note by Mr. Van Aeman 
I can tru[l]y say it would be very agreeable for me to call on you at this 
time and except your hospitality for the time being — But it is very 
inconvenient for me to leave home just now having to perform sundry 
dutys not included in the category of house wifery — I shall undoubtedly 
be in Town in the course of 2 or 3 weeks Caroline desires to call on you — 
and we are waiting for snow. I heartily concur in your idea of California 
and the pleasures and hardships we might enjoy in going there. I expect 
we should find it anything but a modern Railway — But for me anything 
would be desirable to this cursid inactivity and continual want — 
although a trip there is attended with many hardships and sore trials 
of the knees and stomach — yet — I think it not wholly devoid of pleasure. 
He that has an eye for the grand and terrible in nature — could not fail 
to embibe new ideas of the duty in beholding those stupendous moun- 
tains, and the eternal soliture that reigns around their cloud capt sum- 
mits. Pardon this digression — I mean not to morralise — but fancy will 
sometimes wander even when the mind is stearnly attracted to one 
perticular object — Friend Ward you mentioned in yours how hard it 
would be for you to stay behind and see them all start off and leave you 
behind — now that is precisely my feelings. I could never recconcile that 
plan to my feelings. I think you better go with me. I have made a 
bargain to go with John McCane and we will gladly except one more 
companion — 3 is sufficient for one party as we shall go with a very small 
waggon — You have one over to Masons. Just the thing and if you go 
you must keep it and if you dont go we will buy it of you. We shall go 
from here to Independance emty and put in our provisions there. We 

Visions of a Wisconsin Gold Seeker 291 

can ride through to there and then fill up. McCane is going to Illinois 
soon to get 3 ponys or a span of mules. We want 3 ponys so if one should 
get lame or die we can still have a team. The load will not weigh over 
six hundred and we want a very light waggon. Now Friend Ward, use 
every exertion to get away — we cant make anything here and we will 
endeavor to get lining for our pockets out there and that would truly 
keep a fellow's temper warm if not his legs. You can go it for $150 or 
$170 and cannot you raise that — wheather you sell or not — I would 
gladly let you have money if I had it but I have none for myself yet — I 
hope to be able to raise it in season. McCane is just the sort of fellow 
to suit you he is a keen fellow and well used to traveling. Come Ward — 
you must go with me — and we will see if our days of deviltry are over yet. 
I will see you soon 

Yours respectfully 

A. B. Hunt 

Sunday afternoon. I have opened this letter to fill in a few more lines 
just to keep my heart free from the devil's influences. My old friend 
Ward I cannot bair to go off and leave you behind. I know how you feel 
and I would sacrifice $100 rather than you should not go. How delight- 
full and soul inspiring it would be to us to go off there together and share 
the hardships and dangers eaquelly between us and how many objects 
in nature should we see to admire in that long journey through there. 
It seems to me that if ever a fellow kneeded a true and honest friend it 
would be in going through there and with a good rifle and a keg of Hot 
drops — you and I could manage to forget home for a season. If you think 
you can possibly manage to get off let me know as soon as possible we 
have not but 2 yet for our Company, therefore, there is just a birtli for 
you. Daniel Wood wants it if he goes, he will know in a few weeks. He 
has sent to sell his 40 acres in Fondulack. He is confident he shall go. 
Use evry exertion to raise the money old boy and we will enter upon the 
Millinum now and no mistake. Ward write a line to me at evr}^ oppor- 
tunity to send this way. 

It may interest your readers to learn that the men named 
in the forepart of the letter did not accompany Hunt across the 
plains. Instead, he was joined by Daniel W^ood, who made 
his fortune in California and never returned; and Orlando Holt, 
who was also successful and came back via Cape Horn. The 
last was the father of R. L. Holt, a member of the Society. But 
the dreams of Hunt were never realized and his family never saw 
him again, for he died en route and was buried near Green Ri\ er. 
His was the fate of thousands of gold-seekers who perished from 
the hardships encountered on the way. 

Nearly fifty years later Hunt's descendants were sur])rised 
to learn that a tourist had accidentally discovered his long {or- 


Historical Fragments 

gotten grave in the wilderness. The September, 1898, number of 
Recreation contained a brief article by Mrs. Ira Dodge on the 
names of those hardy gold seekers which she found in south- 
western Wyoming on the rock walls along the old California over- 
land trail. She also discovered a few graves. About one of these 
she wrote: 

"One grave is marked, and perhaps some reader may throw 
light on the subject. The headstone is the end-gate of a wagon 
and the lettering is plain and neat. It reads: 

ALFRED B. HUNT [possibly Hunter], RACINE CO., WIS. DIED JULY 1, 
1850. AGED 26 YEARS." 

The call of the golden West and the fertile prairies beyond 
the Mississippi during the third quarter of the last century induced 
a large number of Wisconsin's pioneers or their immediate 
descendants to leave her borders, never to return. This exodus, 
together with the immense influx of immigration from northern 
and central Europe during this period, made a material change in 
the ethnic character of our population. It is to be hoped that 
our Society will some time give this subject due consideration. 

J. H. A. Lacher 


I read the "Personal Recollections of the Republican Conven- 
tion of 1860," in the September number of the Wisconsin Maga- 
zine of History, with much interest. 

I was publishing a paper at Warren, Illinois at the time of 
that convention, and had a seat in the reporters' gallery. My 
seat was only a few feet from the platform occupied by Ellsworth's 
Zouaves, a military company in Zouave uniform commanded by 
Colonel E. E. Ellsworth, who had brought it to such a high 
standard of military precision that its reputation had extended 
throughout the United States. A half hour was given, shortly 
after the convention opened, for a display of their training. 
We can look back now and realize that this seems almost a proph- 
ecy of the part that company was soon to take in the preserva- 
tion of the Union, when a year later Fort Sumter was fired upon 
and the young leader was one of the first to respond to Lincoln's 

More Recollections of Abraham Lincoln 


call for troops to defend the nation's capital and was so soon to 
become the first conspicuous victim of the war. 

Shortly after the convention was called to order, John 
Hanks, a cousin of Abraham Lincoln, carried two weather-beaten 
fence rails, which Lincoln had split, onto the platform, where 
they were received with tremendous enthusiasm; Lincoln there- 
upon became the "rail- splitter" candidate, as the first Harrison 
had been the "log cabin" and Jackson the "Old Hickor^^" candi- 
dates years before. 

When the platform of principles was read, it was noticed that 
while it repudiated the theories of the slave-holder, as well as 
the Douglas Squatter Sovereignty doctrine, it failed specifically 
to mention the great principles enunciated in the Declaration of 
Independence as our political creed and as the moral basis of 
our institutions. Whereupon Joshua R. Giddings, whom every- 
body knew as one of the champions of the antislavery cause, 
arose and expressed himself as painfully surprised that the plat- 
form did not contain a word of recognition of the Declaration of 
Independence, and moved that a clause embodying such recogni- 
tion be inserted. No sooner had he stopped speaking than 
a tumult of voices burst forth, with noisy clamor, for the imme- 
diate adoption of the platform; and the amendment was rejected 
with a boisterous vote. Mr. Giddings then took his hat and 
started toward the door, his great white head towering above tlie 
crowd. Before he could leave the place, George W. Curtis of 
the New York delegation sprang from his seat, leaped into his 
chair, and asked to be heard. The impatient and noisy crowd 
undertook to interrupt him, but he stood firm saying, "This is a 
convention of free speech, and I have the floor, and I will stand 
here until to-morrow morning unless you give me an opportunity 
to say what I am going to say." The persistent crowd seemed 
determined to cry him down, but he held his ground firmly, and 
they finally yielded to his courage. He then went on to argue 
in favor of the amendment suggested by Mr. Giddings, and closed 
by renewing the motion, in parliamentary form. It was carried 
with an overwhelming shout of enthusiasm, after which Mr. 
Giddings moved back to his seat in the convention. 


Historical Fragments 

When the convention first assembled it seemed evident 
that WilKam H. Seward would be chosen. But the first ballot 
revealed the fact that Seward's chief competitor was the "rail- 
splitter" from Illinois, Abraham Lincoln, the first vote standing 
173 for Seward; lO^J^ for Lincoln; scattering 1903^. This 
surely presaged Lincoln's ultimate victory. The second ballot 
stood Seward 186j^; Lincoln 181; scattering 993^^. The result 
was received with tremendous applause by the Lincoln suppor- 
ters, while the Seward men looked on silently, many of them 
with blanched faces. The handwriting on the wall seemed 
perfectly plain, except to those who would not see. The third 
ballot was begun amid breathless suspense. All over the wigwam, 
delegates and spectators were keeping their own tallies. Through- 
out the whole of that ballot the vast assembly was strangely 
quiet, except when there were changes to Lincoln. Long before 
the official tellers had footed up their tally sheets the audience 
knew that Lincoln was in the lead. Four hundred and sixty- 
five votes were cast, of which Lincoln received 2313^ and Seward 
181. Two hundred and thirty-three votes were necessary to a 
choice, and Lincoln lacked only a vote and a half. Then came the 
crucial moment. The silence was painful. Then a delegate^ 
from Ohio sprang upon his chair and announced a change of four 
votes from Chase to the Lincoln column. "Lincoln," shouted 
the teller, waving the tally sheet; and at a signal, a cannon 
which had been placed on the roof of the wigwam for that purpose 
boomed the news to the waiting multitude outside. 

I was also present in 1858 at one of the celebrated discussions 
between Lincoln and Douglas, at Freeport. Lincoln and Doug- 
las were the opposing candidates for the United States Senate, 
and a series of joint discussions at seven different points in the 
State had been arranged. Meetings were held in advance, by 
each party, at every hamlet and cross road within a radius of 
forty miles of the place where the joint discussion was to take 
place, in order to awaken its adherents to the importance of 
being present and supporting its champions. They organized 
themselves into great delegations which rallied at convenient 
points, and formed into processions of men and women, in 
wagons and carriages — but few of the latter as they were not as 

More Recollections of Abraham Lincoln 295 

common then as they became later. Many, too, were on horse- 
back, and usually starting the night before, headed by bands of 
music, with flags and banners, hats and handkerchiefs waving, 
proceeded to the place of meeting. Many of these processions 
were half a mile in length. As they advanced the air was rent 
with cheers in the Republican processions, for "Honest Old 
Abe," and in the Democratic, for "The Little Giant." The sen- 
timents painted in great letters on the banners carried in each of 
these processions left no one in doubt as to which party its parti- 
cipants belonged. Over the banners of the Douglas processions ' 
were "Squatter Sovereignty"; "Let the People Rule"; "This is a 
White Man's Country"; "No Nigger Equahty"; "Hurrah for 
the Little Giant." On the other hand, the Repubhcans carried 
banners with such mottoes as "Hurrah for Honest Old Abe"; 
"Lincoln the Rail-Splitter and Giant Killer"; "No more Slave 
Territory"; "All men are created equal"; "Free Kansas"; 
"No more compromise." 

Douglas arrived on the scene in a coach drawn by four gaily 
caparisoned horses, which had been placed at his disposal by his 
admirers ; his coming was greeted by a rousing welcome. Scarcely 
had the cheering occasioned by his appearance ceased when an 
old-fashioned Conestoga wagon, drawn by four horses, was driven 
to the stand. On one of the seats sat Lincoln, accompanied by 
half a dozen farmers in their working clothes. The driver was 
mounted on the near rear horse and guided his team with a 
single rein attached to the bridle of one of the lead horses. The 
burlesque was as complete as possible and the effort was greeted 
with a good-natured roar. 

The contrast between Lincoln and Douglas could hardly 
have been more marked. Lincoln was six feet four inches tall. 
He was swarthy as an Indian, with wiry, jet black hair, which 
was usually in an unkept condition. He wore no beard, and his 
face was almost grotesquely square, with high check bones. 
His eyes were bright, keen, and a luminous gray color, though 
his eyebrows were black like his hair. His figure was gaunt, 
slender, and slightly bent. He was clad in a nisty-black Prince 
Albert coat with somewhat abbreviated sleeves. His black 
trousers, too, were so short that they gave an appearance of 


Historical Fragments 

exaggerated size to his feet. He wore a high stove-pipe hat, 
somewhat the worse for wear. He carried a gray woolen shawl, 
a garment much worn in those days instead of an overcoat. 
His manner of speaking was of a plain, unimpassioned character. 
He gesticulated very little with his arms, but moved his body 
from one side to the other. Sometimes he would bend his knees so 
they would almost touch the platform, and then he would shoot 
himself up to his full height, emphasizing his utterances in a very 
forcible manner. 

The next time I saw Lincoln was in the summer of 1860, after 
he had been nominated for the Presidency. It was at a great 
Republican mass-meeting at Springfield, Lincoln's home, and 
was said to have been the largest political meeting ever held in 
this country. It was held in the Fair Grounds, and half a 
dozen stands were erected in different places for as many speakers. 
I took a position on a side hill where I could have full view of one 
of the stands. While I waited, there was a commotion in the 
vicinity of the stand, and then some men removed the roof 
from over the desk. A carriage drove up and Lincoln was 
escorted into the stand. Being assisted, he mounted the desk. 
There he stood on top of the desk, his tall form towering far 
above, his hands folded in front of him, and the multitude cheer- 
ing to the echo. When quiet was restored he told the audience 
that he did not come to make a speech; that he had simply 
come there to see the people and to give them an opportunity to 
see him. All he said did not occupy two minutes, after which he 
entered his carriage and was driven to other portions of the 



The following statistics are compiled from the original 
muster-out rolls of this regiment, of which I was a member. 
These rolls were made out by the various company commanders 
at the time of the regimental muster-out, Edgefield, Tennessee, 
July 19, 1865, and are now on file in the Adjutant General's office 
at Madison. 

Vital Statistics of the First Wisconsin Cavalry 297 

It is interesting to know that more than two-thirds of the 
regiment were farmers before the Civil War. Being thus thor- 
oughly familiar with horses, they learned the cavalry drill very 
quickly. According to these old records, the regiment was made 
up of 1828 farmers, 48 carpenters, 35 saddlers, 60 laborers, 

30 lumbermen, 43 blacksmiths, 21 millers, 13 shoemakers, 49 stu- 
dents, 22 teachers, 15 clerks, 27 sailors, 20 merchants, 7 doctors, 
10 painters, 8 printers, 5 hotel keepers, 2 engineers, 1 actor, 
1 telegrapher, 5 architects, 10 masons, 2 editors, and 6 preachers. 
One of these preachers was promoted from the ranks to be 
regimental chaplain, succeeding Chaplain G. W. Dunmore, who 
was killed in battle. Two other preachers were southern Union 
men, who joined us in Missouri in 1862. The regiment also had 
in its ranks lawyers, musicians, confectioners, weavers, daguerre- 
otypists, mail carriers, and stage drivers. 

It is also interesting to learn that of our 2541 men, 984 were 
born in the state of New York; 92 were born in Vermont, 35 in 
Massachusetts, 20 in Connecticut, 45 in Maine, 16 in New 
Hampshire, two in Rhode Island — altogether 1194 from New 
York and New England. This is explained by the heavy emigra- 
tion from those states to Wisconsin from 1840 to 1860. We had 
also 155 natives of Ohio, 77 from Pennsylvania, 40 from Indiana, 

31 from Illinois, 10 Michiganders, 8 from New Jersey, 3 from 
the District of Columbia, and many southern-born men. The 
states of Alabama, Maryland, Missouri, North and South 
Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, and Mississippi alto- 
gether furnished 52 of their own sons to our regiment — Union 
men who enlisted under the old flag at the first opportunity. 
These were but part of the 272,820 southern-bom men wlio 
fought under the Stars and Stripes. What if they had all fought 
under the ''Stars and Bars".? 

We also had a goodly number of foreign-born comrades, most 
of whom came to Wisconsin as children with their jiarcnls. 
There were 228 born in Germany (including Austria and Hun- 
gary), 71 bom in England, 67 in Ireland, 18 in Scotland, 65 in 
Canada, 17 in Holland, 17 in Norway, 11 in France, 8 in Switzer- 
land, 6 in Denmark, and one each in Cuba, Mexico and Poland. 
Two were recorded as "born on the ocean." Tlie total of foreign- 


Historical Fragment, 

born was 495. It was truly a cosmopolitan regiment, the birth- 
places of whose members represented 25 states and 13 foreign 
countries. There were but 97 natives of Wisconsin, whose first 
territorial government began in 1836 — only twenty -five years 
before the Civil War.^ 

Turning to the age at enlistment, 137 were between the ages 
of 15 and 18; 345 between 18 and W; 1264 between 20 and 30; 
663 between 30 and 40; 132 between 40 and 50. The two 
oldest men were each 50 and the two youngest each 15. The 
average age was 23, a sturdy bunch, full of life and vigor, well 
fitted for the strenuous campaigns and incessant, active service 
which was their lot from March, 1862 to July, 1865. 

The shortest soldier was Bernard Schultheis of Company 
M, who was bom at Port Washington, Wisconsin. He came 
to us in May, 1862, by transfer from the Ninth Wisconsin In- 
fantry, where he had already served six months. He was then 
fifteen years old, four feet nine inches in height, and served 
through three years, the youngest of us all. The honor of being 
the tallest in the regiment goes to two men, each of whom is 
recorded as being six feet four inches. One of these was Ser- 
geant George Smith of Company L; the other was Captain 
Wallace La Grange, a brother of our colonel, Oscar La Grange. 
In July, 1862, in Arkansas, when a small detachment escorting an 
ambulance train of sick and wounded men was suddenly attacked 
and overwhelmed by greatly superior numbers of Texan Rangers, 
Captain La Grange (then Sergeant) saved many disabled men. 
He swam across the deep, swift L'Anguille River thirteen times, 
towing behind him a little skiff loaded with disabled comrades. 
That was an athletic feat of heroism rarely equaled. There 
were in the regiment 268 me^ who were over six feet in height — 
more than ten per cent of the total enrollment. 

There were six different Smiths in Company L. Three of 
these were sergeants — one born in Germany, one in Ireland, 
and one in New York. 

^ The population of Wisconsin in 1840 was, in round numbers, 30,000; in 1850, 
305,000; in 1860, 775,000. It follows that in 1861 less than half the population of the 
state had been resident as much as ten years, and practically none of it as much as twenty. 
These figures show fully why so large a proportion of Wisconsin's soldiers were natives of 
other states and foreign lands. — Editor. 

Vital Statistics of the First Wisconsin Cavalry 299 

One hundred and twenty-eight men were promoted from the 
ranks to be commissioned officers, one of them being our beloved 
General Henry Hamden. Six were promoted to commissions in 
other regiments. 

During the three and one-fourth years of constant service, 
two hundred and forty -five of the regiment were taken prisoners, 
at different times and places, in fifty-four battles and countless 
daily skirmishes, from Missouri to Georgia. Of these, thirty- 
three died prisoners in Andersonville, and ten others at Little 
Rock, Florence, Millen, Richmond, and other Southern prisons. 
Others were paroled or exchanged, many of whom were dis- 
charged for disability and died at home later from prison hard- 
ships. There is no complete record of Confederates captured by 
the regiment, but General La Grange once said the regiment had 
captured many more than its own total enrollment. Steve 
Nichols, Bristol Farnsworth, Frank Lavine, and Horatio Foote 
each had credit for more than twenty prisoners captured single- 

We had fifty-six men killed in action, and sixteen who died of 
wounds. Others were wounded and recovered, more or less 
completely, to the number of 132. There were three hundred and 
twenty-two who died from disease; the larger part of these died 
from the unwholesome drinking water of southeastern Missouri 
in 1862. 

The regiment during its service traveled 2182 miles by rail 
and 2540 miles by steamer on the Mississippi, St. Francis, Ohio, 
Cumberland, and Tennessee rivers. Our marches on horseback 
would cover 20,000 miles, incessant service covering large sec- 
tions of Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, 
Mississippi, Georgia, North Carolina, and Florida. If to these 
figures were added the distance covered in daily scouting and 
foraging parties, the total would be more than doubled. 

The city of Ripon furnished the regiment 110 men during' tlio 
four years — the largest number from any one town. Beaver I )ani 
gave 80 men, Kenosha 80, Waukesha 65, Milwaukee 60, Madison 
35, Sheboygan 40, Appleton 30, Green Bay 20, Prairie du Chwu 
20, Menomonie 30, Oshkosh, Fort Atkinson, Waii])un. and 
Berlin 15 each. The remainder came from smaller towns aiui 


Historical Fragments 

from the farms of southern and central Wisconsin. The total 
enrollment (2541) was larger than that of any other Wisconsin 
regiment, because of the constant stream of recruits coming all 
through the four years. The regiment is officially credited with 
fifty-four battles and actions, some of which lasted several days. 
Iti addition, there were numerous skirmishes with the enemy 
which were not counted in the records. The long service of the 
regiment was fittingly terminated by its participation in the 
capture of Jefferson Davis near Irwinsville, Georgia, on May 
10, 1865. 

Stanley E. Lathrop 



Somewhere in Sunny France, 
Aug. 18, 1918. 

My dear Mrs. Pierson: I feel as though I were dreaming, and 
am afraid I will wake up and find that instead of being back here 
in this charming spot, that I am still at the "front"! We were 
relieved a few days ago and came back here for a well earned and 
much needed rest. I did not realize that I was so completely 
worn out until we came here and I had a chance to rest — I want 
to sleep twenty -four hours out of the day ! 

We are camped in a beautiful and picturesque valley, and on 
the banks of a large river — the water is very clear and deep — 
Red Cross hospital boats, and others are carrying supplies, etc. ! 
Needless to say, I have been practically living in the water, ever 
since we got here ! Oh Boy ! but it feels good to get in the water 
once more, and to swim! But I must tell you a joke on me — I 
had a chance to rent a room and sleep in one of these wonderful 
French beds, with a mattress Sihout four feet thick! So I took 
it and thought I'd sleep swell, but to my disgust, I couldn't 
sleep — the room felt hot and stuffy — even though I had the big 
French window open, and two doors wide open — the bed was too 
soft! I have been living out doors and in the open so long tliat 
a room, no matter how well ventilated, seems stuffy. And I have 
had only the ground for a bed so that I feel as though I were going 
to fall out when I sleep in a real bed. 

I am writing this letter in a schoolhouse and carved in the 
stone over the door is the date it was built, etc. It was built 
in 1754 and was founded by a Mademoiselle Therese Wills. It is 
a private school for little girls. Hie walls are covered with 
maps and pictures and drawings that the little girls have made — 
some of them are very good, too. The desks and benches are here 
too, and have tlie children's school books in tJiem — a good 

* The first installment of these letters, written home by Eldon .J. Canright. nppran^i 
in the December, 1921, issue ol' this Magazine. 



chance for me to study French^ — eh? It brings back memories of 
the days when I was a kid in school. 

As I sit here I can look out of the window and see the peasants 
working out in the fields cutting and shocking the grain, and 
across the valley the steep, almost mountainous hills rising on 
either side of the valley, and the little villages dotting the sides 
of the valley and looking as though they were just stuck on the 
side of the steep slope and you wonder how they ever built 
them there — much less live in them — if a man ever slipped in his 
backyard, he would never stop until he rolled down into the 
valley ! And you can see the white stone cliffs standing out above 
and below the trees. And away up on the very top is a high cliff 
of solid rock, and away up on that cliff, the Romans away back in 
the time of Julius Caesar, built a fort and that fort is still stand- 
ing there to-day, having stood the wear and tear of centuries! 
When I look at that and think of the hundreds of years that fort 
has stood there, it makes one feel as though life was pretty short 
and of little consequence! However, those old Romans knew a 
good place for a fort, all right, because even to-day I doubt if with 
all our huge guns and modern equipment, we could destroy 
that fort — it is just cut right in the solid rock. 

Everything is so quiet and peaceful here though it is hard 
to realize that just a few kilometers away the guns are roaring 
and crashing but when I shut my eyes I can see it all very plain 
and can hear the whine and shriek of the shells and all the other 
horrors of war. And probably by the time this reaches you I 
will be back on the job again. 

You ask me when I think the war will end — well, when we are 
at the front we do not think about peace, our only thought and 
desire is to kill as many Germans as we can — when you hear the 
shells whining over head and bursting around you, you do not 
think of peace, you think only of giving them back as good as 
they send, and then some! So I really can't say just when I 
think it will end — it might be anywhere from one to five years 
more— you see we have got to make the Huns pay for all the 
suffering they have caused the people of France and Belgium — 
why right here in this school-room is a tablet with the names of 

The Letters of Eldon J. Canright 


the men, just from this httle town who have given their Hves in 
this war and it's quite a long list! 

E. J. Canright, 
Medical Department, 149th Field Artillerv 
A. E. F., A. P. O. No. 715. 

Somewhere in France, 
Sept. 17, 1918. 

My DEAR Folks: I could almost head this letter "Somewhere in 
Germany" as we are driving the Germans back again, and at 
this rate will soon be in Berlin. 

My regiment had the honor of holding the most advanced 
artillery position, so we are able to see the vast preparations for 
the attack. An attack is always preceded by heavy and con- 
centrated artillery fire to destroy any enemy battery positions, 
machine gun nests, etc., and to prepare the way for the infan- 
try. We had "beaucoup" artillery brought up there especially for 
the attack-guns of every size — big and little. There were guns 
everywhere; and shortly after midnight, at a given signal, every 
battery on that part opened fire. It was a very dark and rainy 
night — you could not see your hand before your face, but the 
blinding flash of the guns would reveal everything for a second 
and then all would be dark again for an instant until they fired 
again. We kept that up all night long; while we were doing 
that the tanks moved up into position preparatory to the attack. 
All that night they went by. We used two kinds of tanks 
— big ones about the size of a street car, and little ones about 
the size of a Ford car. You have seen pictures of them so 
know about how they look. They are made of steel and operate 
like a tractor engine, and travel a little faster than a man can 
walk, but they make a lot of noise — they rattle and clank like 
a threshing machine. However they will go over anylliiTig, 
trenches, ditches, shell holes, mud, etc., and will cut right through 
barbed wire. Nothing stops them. All that night at inter- 
vals between the roar of the guns you could hoar tlie tanks . 
rattling and bumping across the field and the flash of the guns 



would reveal them moving slowly but steadily across the field 
like some huge, prehistoric monsters. It was a weird sight, 
I can assure you. 

The tanks and the doughboys were scheduled to go over the 
top shortly after daybreak and it was some sight that morning 
to look across that vast field and see the tanks lined up and 
scattered behind them. All over the field, in groups and squads, 
were the doughboys waiting to make the attack. Then all of a 
sudden they started moving forward all along the line. The 
tanks led the way, spitting fire from all sides, with their machine 
guns, and following just behind them were the doughboys firing 
their rifles and using their bayonets as they advanced. It was 
just like the pictures you see in the movies, only this was the 
real thing. It is unusual for the artillery to go "over the top" 
with the infantry, but this time we actually did it — one of our 
batteries went over between the first and second waves of the 

Pretty soon we got orders to increase our range, so we knew 
that our troops were advancing through the German lines and 
going ahead rapidly. Oh Boy that's a wonderful feeling. Then 
batches of German prisoners began coming back under guard — 
some of them looked mad and sullen and others looked as though 
they were glad to be prisoners. 

Of course we advanced too, although it was almost impossible 
for us to get through as the roads were almost wiped out from 
shell fire and then they were jammed with troops and equipment 
of all kinds, and all trying to go forward. I never saw such 
a jam in my life — we were hours getting anywhere. Whenever 
we got stuck when we were m^oving up, the Germ^an prisoners 
would help us out — many times I have pushed and pulled on a 
gun or caisson with half a dozen Germans pushing with me. It's 
great sport. In fact we were on the road all the next night, and 
all night long we could see the flames and the red glow of the 
towns and villages that the Huns were burning before retreating. 
But even so, we pushed them so hard that they did not have time 
to burn all the towns and we captured all kinds of material, guns, 
ammunition, equipment, etc., in fact I am writing this in one of 

The Letters of Eldon J, Canright 


the towns that we managed to capture before they had a chance to 
destroy anything. They had occupied this town since the b^in- 
ning of the war and judging from the way they had fixed things 
up they intended to stay here forever. All the signs are in Ger- 
man and we captured an army warehouse filled with German 
clothing, etc. 

I must tell of a little incident that occurred the first night we 
were here, it's real funny. We took this town in the afternoon 
and that night a German captain who had been away somewhere 
and had not heard of the attack came riding into town. Well, 
you never saw a more surprised man in your life — he simply 
could not believe it at first, that is not until some doughboy 
tickled him between the ribs with his bayonet, then he lost no 
time in surrendering I can assure you ! 


E. J. Canright, 

149th U.S. Field Artillery, 
A. E. F., A. P. O. No. 715. 

Somewhere in France, 
Nov. 2, 1918. 

My dear Folks: We are still chasing the Huns, and as they 
are going pretty fast, it keeps us going too, so we do not stay 
very long in any one position. Of course that is kind of hard 
on us as we never have a chance to clean up or get a comfortable 
place to sleep in — and it's pretty cold and rainy these days. 
The first thing we do when we pull into a position is to dig the 
"trail pits" and "lay the guns." Then each man looks around 
for a place to dig his "flop" (hole to sleep in). If it is possible 
we dig our holes in the side of a bank, as you are not quite so apt 
to be drowned out when it rains, but if there is no bank near 
enough, we just dig it on the level ground and make the best of 
it, even if you do get soaked. We have to dig a "flop" because 
it affords us some protection from sheU fragments — you'd look 
like a sieve by morning you'd be so full of holes if you tried to 
sleep on top of the ground. We make them of course, just largo 
enough to crawl into and just long enough and wide (Mioni^li \o 



lie down in. Each man digs his own and they are dug several 
feet apart so that if a shell hits a "flop" it will get only one man — 
see? You would laugh if you could see us when old Fritz begins 
shelling us. If it is in the day time we will all be standing around 
**chewing the rag" and smoking, when all of a sudden we will 
hear the whine of a shell coming and then everyone makes a dive 
for his hole, for all the world like a bunch of mice running to their 
holes when a cat's chasing them, and then after the shell bursts, 
everyone sticks his head out to see where it hits. 

However, Fritz has a habit of shelling us just about dusk and 
keeping it up on and off, all night. It is not the pleasantest thing 
in the world to lie in your little hole at night, all alone and in the 
dark and hear the shells whining overhead and bursting all around 
you — you can feel the earth shake and tremble from the force 
of the explosion, and then you hear the ugly zip of the shell 
fragments — you know the sound a drop of water makes when it 
falls on a red hot stove — well that's the sound a shell fragment 
makes as it tears through the air — and they travel a long ways, 
too, and when you hear the whang and thud of the rocks and dirt 
as they fall all around you, it takes a second or two for all the 
fragments and rocks and dirt to bury themselves in the earth, 
but it seems like an eternity because you can't tell whether one is 
going to hit you or not. Then even before the upheaval of one 
shell has subsided, another is bursting, and you can hear others 
coming — getting louder and nearer, until you think it is surely 
going to light right on top of you and blow you to atoms. And 
so it goes for hours at a time. Of course, because of my work, I 
have to be constantly on the alert when we are being shelled — 
ready to jump out of my hole and take care of anyone that gets 
hit. It takes courage if I do say it myself, to jump out of your 
hole when the shells are bursting all around and when everyone 
else is hugging the ground down in his "flop," and to dress a 
man's wounds under those conditions, and in the dark, too. 
And then you have to see that he is carried back to a safe place 
and started on his way to the hospital. As I have said before 
although I'm not afraid to die — I've seen too much of death to 
fear it — I don't want to die as I feel that I have the best part of my 
life before me. But that's my work, so I do it, and if I get 

The Letters of Eldon J. Canright 


"knocked off" why I will have the satisfaction of knowing that I Ve 
done my duty, anyways. 

I can honestly say that I have had some of the happiest and 
also some of the bitterest experiences of my life since I have been 
a soldier. War is a great teacher and I have learned many 
lessons — some of them hard ones, too. You know I have actually 
seen what the Huns have done to northern France and Belgium 
and know what horrors and sufferings the people who lived there 
have gone through, and when things are going hard and I am 
tired and discouraged, I like to think that I am here going through 
all these hardships to do my bit to keep you all from experiencing 
the same horrors that these unfortunate people have — that if we 
don't lick the Huns now — and lick them to a standstill they 
might at some future time try to do the same thing in America. 
You can laugh at me if you want to, and say I'm foolish, but that 
thought gives me fresh determination to carry on. There is 
nothing I would not do to prevent you from going through even a 
part of what they have had to do. 

As we are on territory recently occupied by the Germans, we 
find "beaucoup" German equipment. Just the other day I found 
an old German machine gun nest, with a big 1917. model, water 
cooled, German machine gun, and "beaucoup" boxes of ammuni- 
tion. So I carried or rather dragged the gun back with me and 
set it up next to my "flop." The Huns had smashed the auto- 
matic feeder on it, and so thought they had put it out of commis- 
sion, but I fooled them — the only difference it makes is that now, 
you have to pull the ammunition belt through as it won't feed 
automatically. I just love to fool with machine guns and I have 
had lots of fun shooting at Boche air-planes with it, and sometimes 
I just point her nose up in the air and "let her go," just in hopes of 
getting a few Germans, as we are within machine gun range of 
their lines. I have, I hope, put a few of them out of commission. 
You know how a compressed air hammer sounds — well, that's 
how a machine gun sounds, and then you can hear tlie zip, zip 
of the bullets as they cut through the air. Gee! but it's sport. 

We are supposed to have the crack division of tlie Gorman 
army in front of us — I wish you could see them — they are just 



kids fifteen to nineteen years old. If that's a sample of their 
best troops, I wonder what the rest are like — they must be the 
halt, the lame, and the blind. We captured a lot of prisoners 
yesterday and one of them was leading a beautiful, trained Red 
Cross dog — it had been shot in the left front paw. Well, we kept 
him — we've dressed his foot and fed him up — but he misses 
his master — he won't eat much, and he keeps looking for him 
all the time. He has a collar on him with a tag on it with some- 
thing in German written on it; but I can't read German so I don't 
know what it says. 

The other day a Boche aviator dropped some propaganda 
stuff. I wish you could read it — it's comical. It is entitled 
"Why Die" and asks, "Why should you Americans come over 
here, thousands of miles from your homes to fight and die for 
France and England." Then it goes on to say "Why don't 
you desert and come over to our lines where you will be safe and 
have free board at the expense of the German Government, for 
the duration of the war." Gee! can you imagine such stuff? 
It's really funny I think — I certainly can't imagine us doing it — 
can you? 


E. J. Canright, 
Medical Department, 149th Field Artillery, 

A. P. O. No. 715 A.E.F. 

Somewhere in France, 
November 8, 1918. 

My dear Folks : You have no doubt seen pictures of some of 
the battlefields over here, but you cannot fully realize the 
horror and the desolation and waste of the country that has been 
fought over, unless you have actually been there and seen the 
fields torn with shell holes and the roads and bridges mined and 
destroyed and the torn and twisted stumps of the trees standing 
like sentinels guarding the dead ! And here and there you see the 
remains of what was once sl town, but now is nothing but a pile of 
broken bricks and burned timbers! And everywhere you see — 

The Letters of Eldon J. Canright 


and sometimes smell — the bodies of the dead lying in every con- 
ceivable position, among the refuse and broken equipment that 
always litters a battlefield. That is the kind of country I have 
been living in for weeks! 

You have probably read in the papers of the big advance 
we have made and that is the kind of country we advanced over. 
It was hard tiresome work advancing as the roads were covered 
with deep, sticky mud and then to add to our difficulties, the re- 
treating Huns had mined the roads and blown up the bridges 
to hold us back. But we always managed to get around some 
way and kept advancing day and night, stopping only long 
enough to get a few hours rest — we were so tired that we just 
dropped down along the road and slept regardless of the cold and 
the rain and the mud ! All we had to eat was a cup of black coffee 
(no sugar or milk) and some hardtack twice a day ! But no one 
complained as we were all eager to go on. 

At night we could see the towns in front of us burning — 
the bright glare illuminating the sky and farther back would be 
just the dull, red glow on the horizon. It was a thrilling sight but 
it made one eager to go on and punish the fiends who were doing 
it! However, the last two or three days we have made things 
so hot for *Tritz" that he hasn't had a chance to carry off all tlie 
civilians and burn the towns — he has just retreated taking with 
him all the male civilians who were able to do any work and leav- 
ing the old and the feeble behind! It is pathetic to see them. 
They put white flags on the church tower and in the w^indows 
of their homes so we wouldn't shell the town — or what was left 
of it! Sometimes the Germans took advantage of this and would 
place machine guns in the houses and fire at us knowing that we 
wouldn't shell them because of the civilians; but in that case we 
would flank the town on either side, and then Old Fritz had to 
get out or be taken prisoner ! But he had no consideration for t ho 
civihans as he has a nice trick of placing bombs and mines with 
time fuses in the buildings and houses, and timing thorn so they 
will explode after we get there. So we always have to look for 
them when we take a town; but some of them aro so chnorly 
concealed that we cannot find them and every little while tJiere 



will be a terrific explosion and bricks and tile and mortar go 
flying in the air and what was a house a few minutes before is 
now just a pile of broken stone! But that isn't enough damage 
to satisfy Fritz so when he thinks we are in the town he begins 
shelling it. Of course we soldiers are used to that and don't 
mind it, but it makes one sick to see the poor frightened civilians 
running for shelter and seeing their homes hit with shells, tearing 
great holes in the roofs and walls! 

I could write pages of the stories that the civilians told me of 
their sufferings — how they were made to work twelve hours a 
day in the fields, and hauling and making war supplies, etc. — 
even the children and the young girls, and how the Germans took 
the good flour that the French government sent the civilians 
away from them and gave them their dirty, rotten pumper- 
nickle — and little enough of that! And they were not allowed 
to visit from town to town or even write or receive any letters! 
And when the Germans left they took everything they could 
carry — even the rings and watches and the gold or silver crucifixes 
that the poor people had. They left them practically nothing. 
Can you imagine living like that for years .^^ 

If we get as cordial a welcome when we come home as these 
poor people gave us, we'll get some reception! They put on 
their best clothes and came out to meet us — some of them laughed 
and some of them cried for joy at being liberated after living 
little better than slaves for over four years! And nearly all of 
them had managed to hide a French flag all these years and they 
hung them over the streets! We were the first American sol- 
diers they had seen and they were sure glad to see us. And you 
would have been proud of the American soldiers if you could 
have seen ho^ kind and considerate they all were to those poor 
people — they gave them their bread (and we had had little 
enough to eat ourselves) and hardtack, and even money, and 
gave the old men tobacco and cigarettes! But that wasn't all 
they did. They helped the civilians gather up their few belong- 
ings and load them in a wheelbarrow and pile a few kids on top 
and move back to their homes — ^if they were fortunate enough 
to have a home left! The roads were full of peasants carrying 

TJie Letters of Eldon J. Canright 


their few belongings in wheelbarrows or baby carriages, trudging 
along the road — many of them didn't even know where they 
were going as their homes had been destroyed, but they just 
kept on moving as they had no place to go to ! But whenever an 
American soldier gets a chance he helps them along — you would 
laugh if it wasn't so pathetic, to see some husky young American 
coming down the road with some feeble old lady hanging on his 
arm and with his arms full of bundles and kids, or as I said 
before pushing a wheelbarrow or baby carriage piled high with 
junk and kids. 

I wish you could see the fine German hospital that we cap- 
tured — ^it sure was a marvel — it had all the modern equipment 
and appliances for treating the wounded! But nevertheless 
we are not fighting human beings, but fiends and beasts and we 
do not want to make peace until we have made them pay and pay 
dearly for their countless crimes ! 


E. J. Canright, 
Medical Department, 149th Field Artillery, 
A. E. F., A. P. O., No. 715 

Dernau, Germany, 
Dec. 19, 1918. 

My dear Jane: Your most welcome letter of October 28 
reached me at Quiddelbach, a few days ago, and I am going 
to attempt to answer it now. We were on the line and had taken 
Sedan and the Germans were holding the bluffs across the river 
when the armistice was signed on November 11. The drive 
started November first, with the Germans holding Grand Pre. 
They put up a very stiff resistance but we kept advancing and 
pushing them back, day and night — taking Buzancy the second 
day. But it was very hard work as it rained day and niglit 
so the roads were a sea of mud, and then to add to our diflicultios 
the Germans had mined and blown up the roads; but wo always 
managed to get our guns and caissons around the place, somehow. 
After the armistice was signed we rested a few days — and wo 
needed it as we had been in the line constantly since September 



1^, when we took part in the St. Mihiel drive, going from there 
to the Argonne, and so on, just one drive after another. We also 
took a very active part in stopping and then counterattacking the 
Germans in their famous drive of July 15, on the Champagne front 
near Chalons. From there we were rushed up to the Chateau 
Thierry front, where we did some very hard fighting until we were 
relieved on August 11 — but enough of this — I'll tell you all 
about that when I get back. 

November 15 we left Buzancy, France, and started on our 
march to the Rhine. We crossed the Franco-Belgium border at 
Montmidy, on November 21. If such a thing were possible I 
would say that we were treated even better in Belgium than in 
France! Every town and city we marched through was deco- 
rated as for a carnival — flags of France and Belgium and America 
floated from the topi^ of the churches and schoolhouses and hung 
from the windows of the houses, and some of the cities had built 
arches of evergreen over the streets and decorated them with 
red, white, and blue ribbons — very pretty effect. In some of the 
smaller towns I noticed several homemade American flags 
and some of them had only six or eight stars in the blue field. 
But you couldn't blame the poor people as they may have 
never seen our flag, and anyway we were following so close on the 
heels of the retreating Germans that the people didn't have 
much time to fix up anything elaborate. 

Just to show you how nice the people in Belgium treated us — 
the night we stopped in St. Leger I found a butcher shop, so 
went in to get some meat as I was hungry after riding in the 
saddle all day and with no dinner (we never stopped for dinner 
on the march), and meat was all we could get in Belgium and we 
were lucky to get that. While I was buying the meat a lady and 
her little daughter came in the shop to get some meat and the 
lady said if I would come to her house she would cook the meat 
for me, which I was very glad to have her do. Well she not only 
cooked my meat but she brought in a big plate of delicious fried 
potatoes (French fried), and bread and coffee. And that wasn't 
all, she brought in a plate of real waffles — made from American 
flour that some American soldier gave her. If you knew the 

The Letters of Eldon J, Canright 313 

scarcity of food in Belgium you would appreciate what that meant 
to her. And then she gave me a dandy bedroom with a bed 
and white sheets and pillows! Oh, Boy! but I sure had a "bon 
couche" that night. And in the morning she had more waflaes 
and coffee for me, and then she didn't want to take any money for 
it after doing all of that and treating me hke a king. But when 
I left I gave Flore, her little daughter, twenty francs (about four 
dollars). That is just an example of the way they treated us all 
through Belgium. And I wish you could have heard the stories 
they told, of the cruel treatment of the Germans — this little girl I 
told you of in St. Leger, showed me a scar on her arm, reaching 
from her wrist to her shoulder, made by a German bayonet. 

We spent several days in the Grand Duchy of Luxemburg 
— a very pretty little country of woods and hills. I spent one 
day in the city of Luxemburg — the capital. It is a very quaint 
and picturesque city. It made me think of a book I read when I 
was a kid. The Duchess of Luxemburg. I little thought then that 
I would ever visit that country ! But the people there were pro- 
German and so charged us exorbitant prices for everything. 
For instance, Thanksgiving day some of us fellows paid twenty 
marks apiece for a couple of old chickens that, judging from their 
toughness, had been dodging wagon and motor trucks since the 
war of 1870. And then the woman that cooked them for us 
charged us ten marks apiece (there were six of us) for cooking 

We entered Germany on December first and did not reach 
this town until the sixteenth of December so you see we have 
covered quite a bit of Germany and I must say that it is much 
prettier than I expected it to be. Steep bluffs or cliffs rising up 
hundreds of feet and so steep that it is almost impossible to climb 
them. And yet around here the people have built paths up them 
and have planted grape vineyards on them, from which they make 
the famous Rhine wine — it is pretty good too, and costs only 
twelve marks a bottle here. 

Billy Tursman and I are living with a German family, we have 
a room with a bed, etc., in it. But we do not have much to do 
with the Germans — they mind their business and we mind ours. 



However, the man of the house where we are hving was in the 
German army and was on our front in the Champagne drive of 
July 15, also the drive of St. Mihiel on Sept. 12. He knew our 
division and says we are very good fighters. He says our artil- 
lery barrage in the St. Mihiel drive was so heavy and accurate 
that they could not offer any resistance, so just retreated — those 
who were lucky enough to get away. It seems funny though to 
be sitting in a German soldier's house and talking to him when 
only a few weeks ago we would have tried to kill each other ! 

Foodstuffs in the small towns in Germany are plentiful and 
we can get a good meal of meat and potatoes and bread and but- 
ter for three or four marks. Of course, in the larger towns 
food is scarce. But I am glad we have reached our destination 
at last! You ride twenty or thirty kilometers a day and in the 
saddle from about eight o'clock in the forenoon and without 
stopping for dinner or anything except a ten-minute rest each 
hour, and you will be pretty tired; and then to do that day after 
day for over a month. But it has been a wonderful experience! 
There are many rumors going around about when we are coming 
home but I don't expect to come back for several months yet. 


E. J. Canright, 
Medical Department, 149th Field Artillery, 
A. E. F., A. P. O., No. 715. 

Dernau, Germany, 
Jan. 3, 1919. 

My dear Mrs. Pierson: We spent a very quiet Christmas 
here. It snowed the night before Christmas and we woke up in 
the morning to find the mountains covered with snow! It made 
a very beautiful and picturesque picture — in fact it was so 
tempting that I started right out after breakfast and climbed 
clear to the top (they are the Eifel mountains). It was a hard 
climb and especially with the snow, because that made it slippery, 
too. But it was well worth the effort because the view from 
there is wonderful — you can see the Rhine River for miles with 
the boats going up and down it, and the little towns here and 

The Letters of Eldon J. Canright 


there along its banks, and with the mountains for a background ! 
I thought of you and how much more I would have enjoyed it 
all, if you could have been there with me. 

Later in the day I celebrated the day by going to church 

the first time I had been to church since we left Luneville last 
March; and in the evening we had a band concert in the town 
brewery — that's the only building large enough to hold us all! 
Nearly every German home has a Christmas tree in the front 
window. They look very pretty at night when they are lit up. 

I have taken several trips down to Remagen — a very pretty 
little town on the Rhine River. The Rhine is about a mile wide 
there and has a very swift current. We patrol the banks of the 
Rhine and then we have a powerful motor boat with a machine 
gun mounted in the bow, that stops and searches every boat that 
passes up or down the river. You know the famous Apollinaris 
water comes from Remagen — it was named after St. Apollinaris! 
We travel anywhere and everywhere on the trains — and first 
class too, without paying fare. You know the railroads here are 
controlled by the German government, and we don't intend to 
give them any of our money. 

And everywhere you go you will see pictures of the Kaiser 
and all his family, and of Von Hindenburg and Ludendorf ! We 
are billeted in the schoolhouse now, and of course there are great, 
big pictures of Ludendorf and Hindenburg and the Kaiser and 
his family, and all the ex-Kaisers since the sixteenth centurj\ 
But we have pasted pictures of President Wilson and General 
Pershing right over the pictures of the Prussian rulers. We 
intend to leave them there, too. The German people do not 
seem to think much of the Kaiser or Ludendorf, any more, but 
they still think Von Hindenburg is all right because he has 
*'stuck" by the soldiers when the Kaiser and all the rest "beat it" ! 

All things considered I think we are pretty lenient with 
the Germans. However, we have arrested a few German civil- 
ians, for disobedience of orders, and have them in our guardhouse. 
But they get the same things to eat that we do — they are bnnight 
out under guard and eat at our kitchens, right with us! Tlioy 
certainly would not treat us like that if they were in ])o\vrr 



I would hate to live in Paris if they had won the war and had 
tlie troops of occupation there! 

New Year's Eve we had a little party. The two ambulance 
drivers stationed with us entertained us with a violin and a 
mandolin. We had a barrel of beer (I didn't drink any though), 
and hardtack with a little jam, for refreshments! At midnight 
we all fired the clips in our automatics. Gee, it sounded like an 
attack! The Germans thought we were crazy and "beat it." 

I wish I were back in France — the Germans can't even 
compare with the French, either in manners or in looks. The 
Germans are coarse and stupid, whereas the French are very 
refined and intellectual. Hope we go back there before we sail. 


E. J. Canright, 
149th Field Artillery, A.E.F., A.P.O. No. 715. 

CoBLENz, Germany, 
March 21, 1919. 

My dear Aunt Blanche: From the banks of the Rhine, in 
Germany, to Milwaukee, in the good old U.S.A. is a long, long 
way, and I little thought when I was a kid going to school, and 
studied about Germany and the Rhine River, that I would ever 
stand "Wacht am Rhein," but that just shows how little we 
know our destinies. 

You may be interested in a brief outline of the experiences of 
our Division, since leaving the United States, so I will attempt 
to give it to you as I remember it. We sailed from New York, 
October 18, 1917, on the S. S. President Lincoln — a German 
ship that was interned in New York harbor when we declared 
war on Germany, and we had made it into a troop ship. The 
German submarines torpedoed and sank it, last May. 

We arrived in St. Nazaire, France, November first, 1917, 
and stayed there a few days. Then we went to Camp de Coet- 
quidan, near Rennes, France, where we trained until February, 
when we entrained and went to the front, taking over the Lune- 
ville — and later the Baccarat sectors until July; and then because 

The Letters of Eldon J, Canright 


of our good work there, were made "shock troops" and sent to 
the Champagne front, near Chalons, where we helped stop the 
famous German drive of July 15, when they tried to take Chalons! 
That was our first experience in open warfare, as heretofore we 
had had only trench warfare. And it was a hard battle, too, as 
the Germans put their best and specially-trained troops in front 
of us, and tried again and again to push us back or break our 
line, but we not only held them, but pushed them back. 

After things quieted down on that front, other troops were 
put in our place and we were rushed up to the Chateau Thierry 
front, where we did some very hard fighting; pushing the Ger- 
mans back through Fismes, Scringes, and Fer-en-Tardenois and 
across the Ourcq River. We were relieved then on August 11 
and marched back through the ruins — or what was left of the 
once picturesque town of Chateau Thierry, and camped on the 
banks of the Marne River near Meaux. It was our first relief 
since going into the trenches in February. And we sure did 
enjoy the chance to rest and to swim in the river, as we were 
dirty and worn out and needed to get away, for a little while, 
from the roar and crash of the guns, and the horrible sights and 
hardships of the front. 

We stayed there a few days and then entrained and went 
down to Romain-Sur-Meuse, near Chaumont, where we stayed 
until September first, when we started back marching by night, 
away up through Toul and took part in the St. Mihiel drive of 
September 12. We took the Germans completely by surprise and 
our artillery barrage was so heavy and effective that the (Germans 
could not put up much resistance so they just retreated — that is 
those that were lucky enough to get away. We took many 
prisoners and the bodies of the dead Germans were lying every- 
where, showing that we had done some good shooting. We 
advanced several kilometers on a wide front, liberating many 
towns and villages that the Germans had held for four years. 
And the unfortunate civilians who had been heUl there by the 
Germans, were nearly wild with joy, at being free once more. 

They had been living little better than slarrs, and tohl iis of 
the cruel treatment, and the hard labor and i>()or and iiisufruMent 



food, and of the heavy and unjust fines that the Germans had 
imposed upon them! You could tell by their looks that they 
had suffered. After we had gained our objectives on that front, 
we turned it over to other troops and started the Meuse-Argonne 
offensive. That was the hardest of them all as the Germans 
put up a stubborn resistance and contested every foot that we 
pushed them back. And it rained continually so that the 
roads and fields were just a sea of mud! And to add to our 
difficulties the Germans mined and blew up the roads and bridges 
as they retreated. But we kept advancing just the same, day 
and night, getting what little rest and sleep, whenever and 
wherever we could. We were covered with mud and soaked to 
the skin, and we were pretty badly exhausted, too, as we had been 
at it, without any let up for several days. And our suppKes 
were unable to keep up with us so we were hungry and cold, too, 
as all we had to eat was our emergency rations — hardtack and 
"corned willy" — that every soldier carries with him. And, of 
course, we couldn't build a fire to dry out with — everything was 
too wet, in the first place and then, too, the Germans would 
have seen it. 

But nevertheless we had the Germans on the run and we 
intended to chase them clear to Berlin. We had advanced a long 
ways and had taken Grand Pre and Buzancy, and our patrols 
were in the outskirts of Sedan, when the arm^istice was signed on 
November 11 and the fighting was stopped. 

We rested there a few days and then started on our long march 
across Belgium, and the Duchy of Luxemburg and into Germany 
to the Rhine, arriving here December 15. This is a beautiful 
country — much prettier than I thought it would be. But that 
is no credit to the Kaiser. The German people treat us nice — 
they wouldn't dare do otherwise. They do not seem to care 
much for the Kaiser or Crown Prince any more, but they do 
think a great deal of Von Hindenburg as he stayed with the 
soldiers when the Kaiser and the Crown Prince ran away into 

There are not many young men left in Germany, as so many 
were killed in the war. Nearly every family has lost someone — 
either a father or a son — and sometimes both, in the war. There 

The Letters of Eldon /. Canright 


is also a great scarcity of fats and grease. So of course they 
have very little soap — and what little they do have is very poor 
grade — practically worthless. We fellows have lots of fun trad- 
ing soap as we can get almost anything with it — why some of the 
fellows have even got the famous German Iron Cross from some 
ex-German soldier's wife for a bar of laundry soap ! 

Rubber is also scarce, and it is a common sight to see auto- 
mobiles with iron rims on them instead of tires. And even the 
bicycles have iron springs fastened together with an iron band in 
place of rubber tires. They make an awful noise, too, rattling 
and bumping along the streets! They don't need any horns or 
bells as you can hear them a mile away. Leather is also scarce 
and many people wear shoes made with cloth tops and wooden 
soles. I imagine they would be hard on the feet, and then, too, 
they make an awful noise, clattering along the sidewalk, but one 
consolation, I don't believe the soles ever wear out — and of 
course they are waterproof. Shall I send you a pair.'' Food is 
scarce in the larger cities, but in the small towns and villages 
they seem to have enough. We can get a good meal of meat 
and potatoes, black bread and sauerkraut for a few marks ! 

I have taken several trips on the Rhine River, going to 
Bonn and Cologne — the scenery is wonderful. I hope some 
day you can take it. Last month I was fortunate enough to get 
a two weeks furlough, part of which I spent in Paris — the most 
wonderful city in the world. I also spent several days in Rennes 
with a French family I met when I was there a year ago. I sure 
had a grand time and I dreaded to come back to Germany again 
as I love France and the French people. 

General Pershing inspected our division last Sunday. It was 
quite an interesting occasion. He said many nice things about 
us, too. General Pershing is a fine appearing man — "every inch 
a soldier," and a commander-in-chief to be proud of. 

We expect to turn in our horses and guns in a few days, so 
perhaps we will leave here soon. 



Medical Department, 149th Field Artillery. 

A. E. F., A. P. O. No. 715. 




Racine, December 19th, 1843. 
My dear Uncle: Having a little leisure time a few evenings' 
since, I attempted to mark out on paper something to give you an 
idea of the location & general appearance of our village. The 
production you will find on the other part of this sheet. It is (or 
I need not say) that it is a very imperfect thing, but with a little 
explanation it may serve the purpose designed. You will observe 
that it lies directly on the shore of the Lake, Michigan Street 
being on the beach. It then rises quite abruptly forty feet above 
the Lake level & then assumes an almost perfect level. By a 
reference to the accompaning map you will observe that Root 
River comes in & passes through nearly the centre of the village. 
At present however the principal part of the village is on the 
south side of the River, yet it is now building up on the north 
side. The river is nearly on a level with the Lake & its banks on 
the south side are of the same height of the Lake shore, & very 
bold, while on the other side they are more sloping. All of the 
public buildings are on the south side of the River & all of the 
business is done on that side. The principle street is Main & 
nearly all of the mercantile business is done on it. There are 
now twenty-six stores large & small on this street, ten on the 
east side & sixteen on the west. Be[d]sides [sic] a great number 
of Lawyer oflSces, Doctor^ offices Printing offices, & mechanics 
shops of nearly every branch of business. The Court House & 
Registers office, together with the best Hotel are situated on the 
west side of the public square fronting the Lake. There are 
three good Hotels in the place & another splendid, & spacious 
one soon to be erected just below our store on the opposite side 
of the street. There are fourteen lawyers, five physicians now 
practicing here. The Congregational is the only church com- 
pleted. That is a very plain & cheap building designed only 
as a temporary one. The Methodist have a very good church 
in process of erection. The episcopalians worship in the 
Court House & the Baptists in the Seminary. All have organized 
churches & societies with settled pastors. Sabbath schools & 

^ This document was recently acquired by this Society through the courtesy of the 
Connecticut State Library, Hartford. — Editor. 

A Letter from Racine in 181^8 


Bible classes are connected with each congregation. The Harbor 
is now in process of construction. Root River is a stream of 
considerable importance, varing in width from one to two hundred 
feet & navigable for any class vessels for two miles up. The 
mouth is barred up with sand thrown in by the Seas of the Lake, 
but opened by the spring freshets. In constructing a Harbor it 
is necessary to build out two piers one each side of the mouth 
of the river to a certain distance, first to get into deep water 
and 2d to get past the moveing sand on the shore, then by dredg- 
ing out the bar the piers will prevent its again being formed. The 
north pier is completed & the south one is commenced & prepared 
for the operation of the spring freshets. When this Harbor is 
completed it will admit Steam Boats & vessels into the River & 
not only be very convenient for loading & discharging but will 
also be a safe harbor from storms & gales. Heretofore all goods 
& passengers have been shipped & landed by means of boats & 
scows. Great advantage is calculated upon from the comple- 
tion of this harbor. It is being built by the citizens of the village. 
They have expended already upwards of Ten thousand dollars 
on it & have just unanimously agreed to raise five thousand 
dollars more to prosecute the work. This place enjoys the advan- 
tage of one of the finest back countries in the whole west. There 
has already been purchased here this season upwards of eighty 
thousand bushels of wheat, besides. Lead, Pork, Hides, Furs &c &:c. 
The country is becoming settled & improved with unparalelled 
rapidity. A farmer told me to day that a ten acre field of wheat 
yielded him over three hundred & fifty bushels. Wheat is now 
selhng for sixty -four & sixty -five cents. Village lots are now 
held at pretty high prices varying from $100 to $600. of course 
property on Main S*; is valued the highest. Buildings rent 
enormously high, according to the cost of tJie same. Tliey 
rent upon an average at least for 25 per cent. The village now 
contains probably not far from twelve to fourteen hinidrod 
inhabitants & from its location, its commercial advantages vV: its 
back country it must grow & become an important place. Lands 
for some distance back are valued very highly, yet good farms 
with some improvements can be bought at v(My low prices. 




There is no government land within nearly forty miles, that is 
desirable quality — Many farms have doubled in value within 
twelve months, such has been the rush of emigration, to the 
Territory. David our former engineer, came out here a few 
weeks ago & has purchased him a farm of 80 acres within about 
12 miles of here, with a comfortable frame house, fifteen acres, 
broken & fenced & ten acree of wheat in all for four hundred 
dollars. He has moved on to it & I am truly glad that David is 
well fixed. 

Thursday Dec'" 21st. Yesterday for the first time I took a 
short trip into the country. My object chiefly was to look at a 
piece of land about nine miles from here. It is a farm of one 
hundred & twenty acres. I[t] has been claimed by preemption 
but the right has expired & it can now be bought at government 
price 1.25 per acre. We think of & shall probably enter it. 
It is a very fine piece of land well located, mostly prairie but 
some wood on it. It will make a very fine farm for wheat or 
anything else. Lands adjoining cannot be bought for five dollars 
per acre. The country back of us is all taken up & quite thickly 
settled. After getting back two & a half miles we come on to a 
prairie nine miles wide & twelve miles long dotted with groves 
occasionally, but in some portions of it for miles not a tree is to be 
seen. This extensive prairie is covered with settlements &; a large 
portion fenced into farms & under cultivation. It is a most 
magnificent sight to get on to some prominent bluff (as it lies 
gently rolling) & survey the almost boundless prairie, covered 
with farm houses & enclosures. The soil it is needless to say is 
rich & very productive. Wool growing & the raising of stock is 
commanding considerable attention & these prairies are well 
adapted to that business. They furnish an abundance of pas- 
turage & from the swails can be cut natural hay equal & even 
superior for cattle to the best English hay. These lands are 
watered by springs chiefly, but have occasional living streams. 
After crossing the prairie you again come into timber land & then 
prairie. Walworth County lies directly west of this & is con- 
sidered the best agricultural county in the Territory. The 
produce raised back sixty & seventy miles comes to this market. 

A Letter from Racine in ISJ^S 


This is undoubtedly to be the principal wheat market in the 
Territory. Good flouring mills are already in operation & we 
have as good quality flour as any other. Wheat has sold to 
day as high as 673^'' per bushel. This we consider too high to 
warrant our purchasing. We have bought some at lower prices, 
but have sold it again. My opinion is that produce & other 
property will be lower in the spring & money will not be as 
plenty. I found this opinion on the fact of there being such an 
immense quantity of goods in the country. I am certain that 
there are more than can be sold & paid for promptly. I fear New 
York people will find that they have done too much credit 
business the past season. If it be true that they have sold the 
amount of goods reported, it will prove a disastrous business. 
The country was not prepared for it & cannot afford it. ]\Iany 
merchants altogether mistake the character & wants of this 
western country, & bring out immense stocks of merchandise, 
larger than the country demands. Although it is a great country 
& a numerous population, still their wants are comparatively few 
& simple. Another evil is, merchants increase too fast in propor- 
tion to the country & balance of the community. The truth is, 
merchandizing enjoys no peculiar advantages in a new country, 
it is the advance of real estate & land that affords better success 
to investment. At this moment I know of no investment that 
offers such inducements as property in this village or in good 
lands back of it. But I fear I have already detained you too 
long on this subject & am also making a long letter without nuich 
matter in it. I will just say that our friend Codding^ is in town 
& lectured last evening upon the subject of Anti slavery. He is 
to spend several days here. The cause meets with considerable 
favor in this place & a society has been formed. It may also 
be said that moral and religious sentiments are in a good degree 
recognized & cherished in this community. The Sabbath 
reverenced & other religious institutions are very generally 
observed or at least respected. I will say with regard to our 
business, that it has thus far been very good & fully nu t our 
calculations. My health is good & I think my ambition is full 

•Rev. Ichabod Codding, later editor of the Waukesha American Fmman. —Kditor. 



equal to my strength. William is well & very well pleased with 
our location & business. I hear from Caroline often, which 
relieves my intense & abiding anxiety for her welfare. This 
being seperated from my dear wife is any thing but agreeable to 
me. I am sure th^t if to acquire a fortune, it became necessary 
for me to be seperated from her any considerable portion of the 
time, I should give up the chase & content myself with what 
happiness I derive from her society. Kindly remember me to 
my dear Aunt & other friends. With many thanks dear Uncle 
for your oft repeated kindness & paternal regard, believe me 
very faithfully Yours 


Addressed : Maj. Elisha A. Cowles 

Single Connecticut 
[Postmark] Racine, Dec. 22, Wis. T. 


Additions to Historical Society 

During the three months' period ending January 10, 1922, there 
were fifty-five additions to the membership roll of the State Historical 
Society. Twelve of these enrolled as life members, as follows: George 
Carey, Beloit; Edith B. Heidner, West Bend; Ada L. James, Richland 
Center; Malcolm J.Jeffries, Janesville; Walter J. Kohler, Kohler; Edwin 
Ludlow, Monroe; Mrs. Lillie M. Merrill, Rochester; Archie Reid, Jr., 
Janesville; George K. Tallman, Janesville; Samuel M. Williams, Mil- 
waukee; Pierpont J. E. Wood, Janesville; Charles C. Voorhis, New 
York City. 

Forty-three persons became annual members of the Society: Celia V. 
Andrews, Prairie du Chien; John S. Baker, Evansville; Rev. Robert J. 
Barnes, Hay ward; Mrs. A. H. Betts, Waukesha; Edna L. Bishoff, 
Superior; Cornelius Buckley, Beloit; Mark R. Byers, La Crosse; Grant 
W. Davis, Milton; Frank J. Desmond, Milwaukee; Thomas S. Dick, 
Milwaukee; Cory don T. Fargo, Jefferson; Gustave C. Fried, Milwaukee; 
Eugene A. Fuller, Madison; Irma Hochstein, Madison; Christian A. 
Hoen, Edgerton; Rev. William F. Hood, Superior; Harrj^ L. Horning, 
Waukesha; Dr. George E. Hoyt, Menomonee Falls; Roy K. Johnston, 
Brandon; Bernice Landaal, Elcho; Mrs. H. H. Lane, Darlington; 
Andrew Lewis, Monroe; John MacDonald, Poynette, R.R.; Lucile 
Marcy, Suring; Mrs. Bertha Marx, Portland, Ore.; Dr. John G. Mea- 
chem, Jr., Racine; Albert F. Meier, Milwaukee; Dudley Montgomery, 
Madison; Theodore Munchow, Madison; Conrad E. Patzer, Milwaukee; 
Josiah B. Pierce, Brodhead; John V. Quinlan, Soperton; Edward J. 
Reynolds, Madison; Mrs. Florence E. Riegel, Shullsburg; Mrs. Alvin F. 
Rote, Monroe; Charles A. Sakrison, Madison; Julia M. Scannell, 
Milwaukee; Dr. Dean S. Smith, La Crosse; Rea J. Steele, Wild Rose; 
Frank G. Swoboda, Wausau; Stanley D. Tallman, Janesville; Charles 
W. Tomlinson, Mt. Horeb; Evan L. Thomas, Waukesha. 

J. H. Martin of Racine changed from annual to life membership. 

[Mr. J. H. A. Lacher, chairman of the Membership Committee, has 
sent us eleven new members — two life and nine annual. Mr. Jolm M. 
Whitehead of Janesville, one of the curators, has sent ten new mem- 
bers — five life and five annual. These are the most notable results of 
the recent membership campaign.] 

OUR contributors 
General Charles King (''Recollections of a Busy Life") is one of 
Wisconsin's best known sons. The story of his career, begun in this 
number, will run through two succeeding issues of the Magazine. 

326 Historical Notes 

Louise P. Kellogg (**The Services and Collections of Lyman Cope- 
land Draper") is senior research associate of the State Historical Society 
of Wisconsin. 

William A. Titus ("Grand Butte Des Morts: A Hamlet with a 
History"), a resident of Fond du Lac, contributes the ninth of his 
interesting series of studies in local Wisconsin history. 

J. H. A. Lacher ("Visions of a Wisconsin Gold Seeker") of Waukesha 
is a curator of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin and an enthusi- 
astic cultivator of the history of the state. 

M. P. Rindlaub ("More Recollections of Abraham Lincoln") of 
Platteville is a newspaper editor and publisher of more than sixty years* 

The Reverend Stanley E. Lathrop ("Statistics of the First Wisconsin 
Cavalry in the Civil War") of Madison is a survivor of the fine regiment 
whose statistics he has so painstakingly compiled. 

For a sketch of Eldon J. Canright, the second installment of whose 
war-time letters is printed in this issue, the reader is referred to the 
December, 1921 issue of this magazine, page 171. 


VOL. V A^'^ 




tendent, MILO M. QUAIFE. Editor 



Marshall Mason Strong, Racine Pioneer 

Eugene Walter Leach 329 

The First Traders in Wisconsin . Louise P, Kellogg 348 

Memories of a Busy Life . . . General Charles King 360 

Historic Spots in Wisconsin W. A, Titus 382 


On the Road to Wisconsin: Charles Minton Baker's 
Journal from Vermont to Wisconsin; Letters of 
George B. Smith 389 

The Question Box: 

Abraham Lincoln in Milwaukee; When Did the Use 
of Bows and Arrows Cease?; Significance of 
Indian Names; The Career of Chief Waubunsee; 
Early Pierce County; The Horicon Marsh; The 
Welsh Contribution to Wisconsin ; The Story of 
the Stockbridges ; The Founding of Rhinelander ; 
The Career of Marinette 408 

Communications : 

The Significance of "Neenah" 419 

Historical Notes 421 


Eugene Walter Leach 

In presenting this sketch of Marshall M. Strong, it seems 
proper to state, by way of prelude, that I was but a lad 
when Mr. Strong died, in 1864, and do not remember ever 
to have seen him. I have talked, however, with many 
discerning people who knew him well, all of whom have 
spoken of him in terms of unqualified praise and almost 
reverential respect and regard. In city and county and 
court records I have encountered his name and his work 
repeatedly. In every authentic history of Racine County 
and of the state of Wisconsin he is given a definite place 
in the beginnings of things. What I have learned of Mr. 
Strong has awakened in me an ardent admiration for him, 
and a conviction that the people of this generation in his 
home city and state should know something of the life and 
work of one of the real founders of this commonwealth 
of ours — a man who was fitted for the task, and who 
left the impress of his genius and high character on its 
political, educational, professional, and civic institutions, 
and an example of probity in his public and private life well 
worthy of emulation. 

Marshall Mason Strong was a prominent figure in that 
notable group of sterling men and women who migrated 
from New England and New York to southeastern Wiscon- 
sin in the decade beginning with 1834. They were people 
with a background of inheritance and training that fitted 
them for pioneer work — for foundation laying — and they 
gave the communities where they settled a tone and charac- 
ter that have survived the lapse of three-fourths of a cen- 
tury of time, and the influence of that other flood of alien 
peoples that has poured into the same section in the last 
sixty years. 


Eugene Walter Leach 

Mr. Strong was exceptionally well equipped for the task 
that confronted those pioneers. The founder of the Strong 
family in this country — Elder John Strong — came from 
England to Dorchester, Massachusetts, in 1630, and with 
one exception the succeeding five generations, leading in line 
to the subject of this sketch, continued to live in that 
state, the exception being the father of our subject, Hezekiah 
Wright Strong, a lawyer of marked distinction, who moved 
to Troy, New York, in 1832, where he died October 7, 1848, 
aged seventy-nine. His paternal grandfather, Simeon 
Strong, a graduate of Yale College, attained eminence both 
as a preacher and as a lawyer; he was a justice of the supreme 
court of Massachusetts from 1800 until his death on Decem- 
ber 14, 1805, aged sixty-nine. 

It will be worth while to note here that Elder John 
Strong was the paternal ancestor also of Moses M. Strong, 
another pioneer lawyer of Wisconsin who achieved emi- 
nence. Being a contemporary with a similar name, he has 
sometimes been confused with Marshall M. Strong, though 
he was not a near relative. He came to Wisconsin in 1836 
from Vermont, representing capitalists interested in the 
lead mines, and settled at Mineral Point, where he con- 
tinued to reside, except for a brief interval when he lived 
in Milwaukee, until his death July 20, 1894. 

Mr. Strong was born at Amherst, Massachusetts, 
September 3, 1813. I have made considerable effort to learn 
something of his childhood and youth, but with little 
success. It is now more than ninety-five years since he 
celebrated his thirteenth birthday, and there are none living 
now who knew him then; while no written account of his 
early life has been found, further than the bare record of his 
years in college. His collegiate education was begun at 
Amherst, where he spent two years, from 1830 to 1832. In 
September of the latter year he entered Union College, 
Schenectady, New York, his father having removed from 

Marshall Mason Strong, Racine Pioneer 331 

Amherst to Troy, New York during that year. He did not 
graduate from Union, however, and there is no record of 
the time he left there. He subsequently engaged in the 
study of law at Troy, where he was admitted to the bar. 
He must have come West very soon thereafter, for on June 2, 
1836, before he was twenty-three years old, he arrived at 
Racine — then called Root River — by the Great Lakes route, 
on the steamboat Pennsylvania, From this day forth to 
the day of his death he was closely and continuously identi- 
fied with the interests of the community and common- 
wealth which he had chosen as the field of his life work. 

Although Gilbert Knapp, the founder of Racine, staked 
out his claim comprising the original plat of the city in 
November, 1834, settlement did not begin thereon until 
the spring of 1835. During this year half a dozen frame 
buildings and a few log houses were erected. The arrivals 
during the spring of 1836 did not add greatly to the popula- 
tion of the village, and it was therefore an undeveloped, 
pioneer settlement to which young Strong came, and to 
whose fortunes he joined his own on that June day in the 
second year of Racine's history. There was nothing that 
invited to ease or pleasure in the immediate prospect, 
and only the man with vision and a will to work — only the 
true pioneer — could be attracted by what it held in prospect. 

Mr. Strong was the first lawyer who settled in Racine 
County, and there were few in the state who preceded him. 
Soon after his arrival he formed a partnership with Stephen 
N. Ives, and a general store was opened under the name of 
Strong and Ives, from which it may be inferred that there 
was little or no demand for the services of a lawyer at that 
stage of the settlement's growth. Charles E. Dyer, in his 
historical address, states that Judge Frazer, territorial jus- 
tice, was the first judge who presided in April, 1837 over a 
court of record in Racine County, and that only eight days 
were occupied by the court in the three terms held there in 
the first eighteen months of its existence. 


Eugene Walter Leach 

In the absence of positive record it seems probable that 
Mr. Strong continued as senior partner of the village store 
until the increasing demands of his profession required all 
of his time. This change must have come about com- 
paratively early, for the troubled years from 1837 to 1839 
brought many disputes between the settlers over the boun- 
daries of their respective claims. It is a matter of record 
that Strong's legal ability was often invoked in the composi- 
tion of these disputes. In June, 1837 a wide-reaching organ- 
ization of the settlers of southeastern Wisconsin was formed, 
the object of which was the mutual protection of the set- 
tlers in their claims, and in fixing the boundary lines 
between them. All were trespassers in the eyes of the law, 
and it required wise counsel, as well as firm purpose and 
concerted action, to enforce fair dealing by those who were 
otherwise disposed. Gilbert Knapp was the president of 
this organization, and Marshall M. Strong was a member 
of the committee which drafted its constitution. It in- 
cluded a judicial committee, or court, before which all cases 
were heard and all disputes definitely and finally settled. 
It was government by the people without the sanction of 
written law, but with the force of a practically unanimous 
public opinion, and as a temporary expedient it worked well. 

Mr. Strong married Amanda Hawks of Troy, New York, 
on May 27, 1840, and brought her to his home in Wisconsin, 
where he was rapidly making a place and name for himself. 
Three children were born to them, one of whom — Robert — 
died in infancy. Before six years of their married life had 
passed, a devastating shadow fell across the path of Mr. 
Strong. On January 27, 1846, while he was at Madison 
attending a session of the territorial council, of which he was 
a member, his home in Racine was destroyed by fire and 
his entire family, consisting of wife and two children, 
perished in the flames. The children were Henry, aged 
four years and ten months, and Juliet, aged nine months. 

Marshall Mason Strong, Racine Pioneer 


The appalling tragedy shocked the community and the 
Territory as perhaps no similar occurrence had ever done, 
and the profound sympathy of all citizens went out to the 
stricken husband and father. 

The next day Albert G. Knight, a friend of Mr. Strong, 
undertook to convey to him at Madison the news of his 
bereavement and bring him home; there being no railroad 
he made the trip with his own horses and sleigh. On arrival 
at the capitol he found Mr. Strong addressing the Council. 
At the conclusion of his argument he was given the distress- ^ 
ing news, when without a word he put aside his business, 
secured his wraps and effects, and accompanied Mr. Knight 
on the return trip, sitting with bowed head and speaking 
scarcely at all during the two full days that it consumed. 
Both houses of the legislature passed appropriate resolu- 
tions and adjourned.^ 

During the last dozen years I have talked with a number 
of people, all now dead, who lived in Racine in 1846 and 
were witnesses of the fire and its tragic ending. One of these 
was Mrs. Margaret Lewis, mother of ex- Alderman John 
H. Lewis, who died very recently. In 1846 she was a maid 
in the home of lawyer Edward G. Ryan, later chief justice 
of the supreme court of Wisconsin, who lived in the house 
at the northeast corner of Seventh and Chippewa streets, 
which is still standing and in fairly good condition. Marshall 
M. Strong was his next-door neighbor on the north, the 
buildings being not more than thirty feet apart. Mrs. 
Lewis, who at the time was sixteen years of age, witnessed 
all of the terrifying incidents connected with the burning of 
Mr. Strong's house and the death of his wife and children 
on that winter night, and they made a very deep impression 

^ The information contained in this paragraph was secured a few years ago from Mrs. 
Albert G. Knight, who is now dead. She stated that it was the supreme court where her 
husband found Mr. Strong engaged, but reference to contemporary Madison papers show » 
that it was the Council, to which Mr. Strong belonged. Mrs. Knight told me that her 
husband had a great admiration for Mr. Strong, and spoke of him often in terms of affec- 
tion and high praise. — Author. 


Eugene Walter Leach 

on her mind, the recollection of them being vivid until the 
day of her death in 1913. 

Bereft of his entire family at the age of thirty-three, 
Mr. Strong was deeply afflicted, and for a time bore the 
distressing burden silently and alone. The passing weeks, 
however, mitigated the poignancy of his sorrow, and he 
returned with something of his usual cheerfulness and vigor 
to his professional and political duties. The new and very 
important work connected with the deliberations of the 
first constitutional convention, of which he was a member, 
and into which, in the fall of 1846, he threw himself whole- 
heartedly, was no doubt a beneficent factor in the healing of 
his stricken life. 

On September 19, 1850, he married Emilie M. Ullmann 
of Racine, daughter of Isaac J. Ullmann, a banker. There 
were born of this union two sons and one daughter. Ullmann 
Strong was born June 30, 1851; was educated at Yale, 
where he graduated in 1873; practised law in Chicago until 
1900, when he retired, and now lives at Summit, New 
Jersey. Henry Strong was born September 22, 1853, and 
died October 23, 1912. He was engaged in the lumber 
business at Kansas City, Missouri. Fannie A. Strong was 
born April 17, 1860, and died February 24, 1911. Emilie 
Ullmann Strong, the wife and mother, survived her hus- 
band forty-seven years, and died April 19, 1911. Ullmann 
Strong is the only member of the family now living. His 
generous response to my request for information for the 
purposes of this sketch is hereby gratefully acknowledged. 

Mr. Strong was a consistent and constant friend of 
education during all of his life. He was one of the incor- 
porators of the Racine Seminary, with whose subsequent 
history I am not familiar. On April 5, 1842, he was elected, 
with Lyman K. Smith and Eldad Smith, father of Mrs. 
John G. Meachem, member of the first board of school 
commissioners of the town of Racine. This board, and its 

Marshall Mason Strong, Racine Pioneer 33.5 

successors until 1853, had entire charge of school manage- 
ment and the collection and disbursement of school funds, 
the sources of which were in the management and disposi- 
tion of the school section lands. In 1893 Col. John G. 
McMynn, in a letter to H. G. Winslow, then city superin- 
tendent of schools, paid a high compliment to Marshall 
M. Strong, A. C. Barry, and others for their capable and 
wise management of the public schools of Racine previous 
to 1852. 

Mr. Strong was one of the incorporators and a member^ 
of the first board of trustees of Racine College in 1852, and 
continued an enthusiastic supporter of the institution all 
of his life thereafter. He and Dr. Elias Smith were influen- 
tial in securing from Charles S. Wright and Isaac Taylor 
the gift of the original ten acres of land on which the college 
buildings are located. In 1853 he was a member of the fac- 
ulty as a lecturer on political science. In an historical 
sketch of Racine College by Horace Wheeler, A.M., an 
alumnus, a high tribute is paid to its Racine friends and 
patrons, a number of whom he listed, adding, "and Marshall 
M. Strong, Esq., who was not only a large contributor, 
but whose counsel and personal efforts down to the day of 
his death were of inestimable value." 

Mr. Strong was not only the first lawyer in Racine, but 
he tried and won the first lawsuit in Racine County, which 
grew out of a competitive squirrel hunt in which he was 
leader of one side and Norman Clark of the other. It had 
been agreed that all kinds of game should be hunted; a 
squirrel to count a certain number of points, a muskrat 
another, a deer's head 300, and a live wolf 1000; trophies to 
be obtained by fair means or foul. Two of the party heard 
of a deer hunter at Pleasant Prairie who had a good collec- 
tion of heads, and they stealthily set out for them and got 
them. Meanwhile Mr. Strong's party heard of a live wolf 
in Chicago. It was sent for, but while being brought to 


Eugene Walter Leach 

Racine it was killed by a Captain Smith of a party of drunk- 
en sailors at Willis's tavern, west of Kenosha on the 
Chicago stage road, the weapon used being a bottle of 
gin. In the meantime Mr. Strong went to Milwaukee and 
got a sleigh-load of muskrat noses, which out-counted 
everything. The squirrel hunt was broken up; Mr. Clark 
had ruined Schuyler Mattison's horse and had to pay 
$75 damages. Mr. Strong brought suit against Captain 
Smith for killing the wolf, and the jury, before Justice-of- 
the-Peace Mars, brought in a verdict of "guilty," assessing 
damages at six cents, Norman Clark being on the jury. 

Mr. Strong was the first city attorney for Racine, having 
been elected for the first city council in 1848. In 1856-57 
he was city railroad commissioner, whose duty it was to 
look after the city's interests, and to vote its $300,000 stock 
in the stockholders' meetings of the Racine and Mississippi 
Railroad. In 1859 the city had a bonded indebtedness of 
$400,000 — railroad, harbor, plank-road, school, and bridge 
bonds — a burdensome load, on which even the interest 
remained unpaid, and there was serious talk of repudiation. 
Mr. Strong opposed this, and warned the people that they 
were "riding on a stolen railway; using a stolen harbor; 
traveling over stolen roads and bridges; and sending their 
children to stolen schools." The city narrowly escaped 
bankruptcy, but did not repudiate its debts. 

In the forties and fifties two-thirds of the people here- 
abouts were Democrats, and Mr. Strong was a Democrat in 
politics, though temperamentally an aristocrat. His 
political career may be said to have been limited to the 
decade between 1841 and 1851; at any rate he held no pub- 
lic ofiice after the latter date. On the organization of the 
village of Racine in the spring of 1841, he was elected a 
member of the first board of trustees. It does not appear 
from the records of the meetings of that first board that 
the business before them was such as would tax very 

Marshall Mason Strong, Racine Pioneer 337 

severely the business or professional capacity of men of the 
quality of Mr. Strong, and it is surmised that he may have 
had some such feeling, for he never again appeared as a 
candidate for an elective village or city office. He was, 
however, chosen a member of the upper house — the terri- 
torial council — of the legislative assemblies of 1838-39 and 
1843-47 inclusive, and as member of the lower house in 
1849. Before the close of the session of 1838-39 he resigned, 
and Lorenzo Janes was appointed to serve his unexpired 

Although Mr. Strong maintained a patriotic and lively 
interest in all political movements during his lifetime, he 
was indifferent to the appeal of public office, except as it 
meant opportunity and power to promote the public good; 
this sounds trite, but is true nevertheless. Strife for his 
own political preferment was extremely distasteful to him, 
for he was above the small hypocrisies sometimes practised 
— often with success — in personal political contests, and his 
experience had bred in him early a detestation of those 
methods of courting success, and of the men who practised 
them. In a Fourth of July address in 1846 he gave utter- 
ance to sentiments betokening more than a tinge of cynicism 
also in his political views, when he said: "Are not the elec- 
tors all over the Union influenced more or less by personal 
or local considerations; by unfounded prejudice; by false- 
hood, asserted and reiterated with the pertinacity of truth; 
by political intrigue and management, until it has come to 
be regarded in the minds of many worthy men, almost a 
disgrace to be chosen to office? They seem to ask, in the 
language of the poet. 

How seldom, friend, a good great man inherits 

Honor or wealth with all his worth and pains ! 

It seems like stories from the land of spirits. 
If any man obtain that which he merits, 
Or any merit that which he obtains. 

*Tt is certainly unfortunate that our system of govern- 
ment should in any manner offer a bounty for fraud. 


Eugene Walter Leach 

intrigue, and hypocrisy, and that that bounty should be 
some of its highest offices." 

In the course of an address before the Lawyers' Club of 
Racine County on May 7, 1901, Charles E. Dyer^ gave an 
estimate and appreciation of Mr. Strong, from which I 
think it worth while to quote the following paragraphs: 

**As senior at the bar in age and residence, stood Mar- 
shall M. Strong. I wish you could have known him. He 
was an ideal lawyer, and none excelled him in the state of 
Wisconsin. He was tall, though somewhat stooping; 
slender, and as clear-cut as a model in marble. His head 
and face were as purely intellectual as any I ever saw. His 
great eyes shining out of his face looked you through, and 
told you that his mind was as clear and bright as a burnished 
scimitar. When he made manifest his intellectual power in 
argument or conversation, he made one think of the inscrip- 
tion on the old Spanish sword, — 'never draw me without 
reason — never sheathe me without honor.' 

*'No matter what demonstration of opposing intellect 
he encountered, he was as cool and impassive as a statue. 
In the law and in every department of knowledge he was a 
philosopher. He was quiet, urbane, earnest, unimpas- 
sioned, and his logic was inexorable. I do not think I ever 
heard him laugh aloud, but his argument was so persuasive, 
and his smile and gesture so gentle and winning, that when 
once the listener yielded his premises, there was no escape 
from his conclusion. 

"Discomfiture was unknown to him. He never exhibited 
depression in defeat nor exultation in success — a true rule of 
conduct for every lawyer. Once I saw him in a great case, 
when Matthew H. Carpenter swept the courtroom with a 
tornado of eloquence. He sat unaffected, self-controlled, 
betraying not an emotion, not a fear — only a cheerful smile 

2 On the death of Mr. Strong, Mr. Dyer became the junior partner of Henry T. Fuller, 
who had hhnself been junior partner in the firm of Strong and Fuller. — Author. 

Marshall Mason Strong, Racine Pioneer 339 

of derision. Then he arose to reply, as confident as if he 
were presenting an ex parte motion, and before he finished 
Carpenter had not a leg to stand on. 

"A natural logician, Mr. Strong stated his propositions 
in such manner that you had to beware lest they should 
lead you captive, although your relation to the case made 
it necessary to controvert them. There was no noise in 
his utterances — no oratory — not the slightest demonstra- 
tion for effect. He carried one along by processes of pure 
reasoning. Yet on suitable occasion he was eloquent. He 
was somewhat like Wendell Phillips, who held his audiences 
spellbound, yet never made a gesture. His arguments were 
in the nature of quiet conversations with the court — some- 
times refined and perhaps fallacious, generally invincible. 
Intellect reigned supreme, and he was as pure a man as ever 
looked upon the sunlight. When Timothy O. Howe, of the 
marble face, lay in his last sleep, Robert Collyer bending 
over him at the funeral exercises in Kenosha, taking no 
Bible text, waved his hand over the bier and said, *This is 
clean dust.' So was Marshall M. Strong 'clean dust,' living 
or dead. 

'T can think of no higher tribute to character than that 
paid to Mr. Strong, long after his death, by the Supreme 
Court, in delivering its judgment in the case of Cornell vs. 
Barnes, reported in 26th Wisconsin. It was a suit for col- 
lection of a debt by foreclosure of mortgage security, and 
involved a considerable amount. The defense was usury, 
and if there was a usurious contract, it was made by Mr. 
Strong as the attorney of the mortgagee. In fact he had 
made the loan for his client and represented him in every 
stage of the transaction. The usury alleged connected 
itself with the breach of a secondary contract by Mr. Strong, 
if there was any breach, and this was the vital point. The 
lips of Mr. Strong were sealed in death, and our evidence 
to repel the charge was largely circumstantial. Said tlio 


Eugene Walter Leach 

Supreme Court, in its opinion written by Justice Byron 
Paine: *The high character of Mr. Strong, who was well 
known to the people of this state and to the members of 
this court, seems also to speak for him when he is unable 
to speak for himself and repels the assertion that he would 
thus violate a plain agreement, as unfounded and im- 
probable.' " 

Mr. Charles H. Lee, a bright Racine lawyer and some- 
thing of a scholar and litterateur himself, who as a young 
man was a student in the office of Fuller and Dyer, knew Mr. 
Strong quite well during the years just preceding his 
death. He also became very familiar with Mr. Fuller's 
estimate of the man who for many years was his senior 
partner. Mr. Lee, a few years ago, wrote for me a brief 
appreciation of Mr. Strong, in which he said: **He had an 
exceedingly high conception of the duties and dignity of his 
chosen profession, was liberal and kindly to his juniors at 
the bar, and always ready to counsel and assist them. He 
disliked noise or bombast, and while no one in his day was 
more successful witJb juries, his arguments were always 
addressed to their reason, their common sense, their spirit of 
fairness, never to their passions or their prejudices." 

Mr. Lee told me also that Mr. Strong was a friend of 
Ralph Waldo Emerson, who always stopped at Racine to 
visit him when he came West. At the dedication of the 
memorial tablet erected in the high school for its alumni 
who lost their lives in the War of the Rebellion, Mr. Emer- 
son made an address. He lectured here also at another time 
at Titus Hall. Charles E. Dyer has written of his pleasure 
in meeting Mr. Emerson for a half-hour after this lecture, 
on invitation of Mr. Strong, of whom he wrote: "On another 
occasion he had Wendell Phillips as a guest; thus he was a 
patron of literature and a friend of humanity, as well as an 
expounder of the law. He was a man of fine literary tastes 
and accomplishments. During the Rebellion he wrote 

Marshall Mason Strong, Racine Pioneer 


letters to Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Stanton on the conduct of 
the war. When John Brown was hanged he called a meet- 
ing on his own responsibility at the old court-house, and 
made a speech in defense and eulogy of the old hero.'' 

Mr. Strong's literary tastes led him naturally into news- 
paper work in the earlier years of his life in Racine, and he 
made two side ventures into that attractive field, though 
he never took it up as a vocation, or let it interfere seriously 
with his professional work as a lawyer. On February 14, , 
1838, the first number of the first newspaper in Racine Coun- 
ty appeared, with the name of N. Delavan Wood as editor 
and the following as proprietors: Marshall M. Strong, 
Gilbert Knapp, John M. Myers, Lorenzo Janes, Stephen 
N, Ives, and Alfred Gary. The Argus was a four-page week- 
ly. The second number contained an editorial announce- 
ment that N. Delavan Wood was no longer connected 
with the paper, though carefully omitting details. The 
fact was that the former editor had absconded with all of 
the portable assets, and had been followed to Ghicago by 
Marshall M. Strong, who recovered a portion of the loot. 
It is likely that it was on the Argus that Mr. Strong had 
his first experience as an editor, for the paper had but 
eight months of life, its last issue being dated October 6, 
1838, and only the proprietors' names appeared at the head 
of the paper after the first issue. 

The Racine Advocate was founded in 1842, with Thomas 
J. Wisner as editor. Mr. Wisner died August 12, 1843, and 
Mr. Strong became editor; he continued to direct its affairs 
until December, 1844. Gharles E. Dyer, in 1879, said of 
the paper, **No better newspaper has ever been published 
in the county than the Advocate under the editorial char.ize 
of Marshall M. Strong." Mr. Strong's hatred of the shams 
and deceits practised by many for purposes of profit and 
preferment in business and politics is clearly revealed by 
the policy he adopted in excluding from the columns of the 


Eugene Walter Leach 

Advocate the quack medicine advertisements which were so 
prominent a feature of the newspapers of that day, and so 
remunerative a source of income for them. It brings into 
sharp rehef, also, the fundamental idealism that actuated 
him, which a half-century or more later found national 
expression in the very real pure-food laws of the land. 

In January, 1846 the territorial legislature passed an 
act providing for submission to the people of the Territory 
at a special election, (1) the question of a change from terri- 
torial to state government; (2) providing for a census of 
the inhabitants of the territory; and (3) for electing dele- 
gates to a constitutional convention to be assembled at 
Madison the first Monday in October, 1846. The consider- 
ation of these propositions occupied almost the whole 
month of January, and Mr. Strong, who was a member of 
the upper house, took a prominent part in the debates. 
One proposal, in the discussion of which there were many 
sharp exchanges, was that negroes be permitted to vote for 
convention delegates, which was favored by Marshall M. 
Strong, and violently opposed by Moses M. Strong of 
Iowa County. The latter stated that at a recent election 
in his county, for delegate to Congress, the abolition candi- 
date did not get a single vote, and he thought it poor 
policy "to give the South any reason to suspect that Wis- 
consin was favorably disposed toward the abolition move- 
ment" — which is an interesting side-light on abolition 
sentiment — or the want of it — in Wisconsin in 1846. 

Marshall M. Strong, in reply, championed the cause of 
the negro in spirited argument, but to no effect. The 
legislature was strongly Democratic and anti-abolition, 
and the outcome of the matter was that negroes were not 
permitted to vote for delegates to the constitutional con- 
vention. Comparatively few northern Democrats, then or 
later, were outspoken in favor of the abolition of slavery, 
and Marshall M. Strong found in his own party little sup- 

Marshall Mason Strong, Racine Pioneer 


port of his legislative efforts to secure for the free negro in 
Wisconsin recognition of his civil and political rights as a 
man and a citizen. 

The convention met and organized on October 5, 1846, 
with Marshall M. Strong and Edward G. Ryan as two of the 
fourteen delegates from Racine County, which at the time 
had the largest population of any in the state. \Mien the 
question of negro suffrage came up in the convention, 
E. G. Ryan of Racine and Moses M. Strong of Iowa County 
made violent speeches in opposition to it, and Marshall M. 
Strong, who in the legislature ten months before had cham- 
pioned it, declared that he "had changed his views on 
the subject and would vote against it," and that was about 
all that he had to say on the subject in the convention. 
When the matter came to a vote there, but thirteen were 
for it in a total of 124, and the people of the Territory con- 
firmed this action by a vote of nearly two to one when 
the question of negro suffrage was submitted to them on 
April 6, 1847. 

The convention was in the control of the progressive 
wing of the democracy, and Mr. Strong, being a conserva- 
tive Democrat, found himself in opposition to the majority 
on the three great issues before the body, which were finally 
settled after extended and spirited debate, and the conven- 
tion declared itself, (1) against all banks of issue; (2) for an 
elective judiciary; and (3) for full property rights for mar- 
ried women. 

In the debates on these proposals there was intense and 
continual antagonism between Mr. Strong, on the one 
hand, who opposed them, and his colleague Ryan and his 
namesake from Iowa County, on the other, who favored 
them. So indignant was the first, and so sure of his ground, 
that when the convention finally adopted them he re- 
signed his seat and went home to organize a campaign 
to defeat the constitution when it should be submit tcnl to 


Eugene Walter Leach 

the people for ratification, a project in which he was entirely 
successful, for on April 6, 1847, it was rejected by a vote of 
20,233 to 14,119. 

Mr. Strong declined membership in the second constitu- 
tional convention, made necessary by the rejection of the 
work of the first. The constitution which it formulated, 
and which was ratified in 1848, is still in force, the oldest 
constitution of any state west of the Allegheny Mountains. 
Mr. Strong was elected to the first state legislature in 1849, 
and took a prominent part in the revision of the statutes of 
the state, after which he retired permanently from the 
political strife so necessarily connected with public life, 
which was uncongenial to his thoughtful, quiet, and domes- 
tic nature. 

Three recent publications of the State Historical Society 
— viz., The Movement for Statehood 18^5-1846, The Conven- 
tion of 18^6, and The Struggle over Ratification 1846-1847, 
Constitutional Series, edited by Milo M. Quaife — have made 
it possible to get intimate and accurate estimates of some of 
the "Fathers" of Wisconsin, that have previously been 
diflScult to secure. They are just the books for any who may 
wish to make an exhaustive study of those movements and 
men. They furnish a wealth of material, also, in the con- 
temporary opinions of associates in the legislature and the 
conventions, and of newspaper editors and correspondents 
whose impressions and judgments were given frank and 
free expression. I think it worth while to make two or 
three quotations from these volumes which throw into bold 
relief the essential attributes of character that made Mar- 
shall M. Strong the real leader that he was. 

On the organization of the convention Mr. Strong was 
a candidate for its presidency, and received the second 
largest number of votes on the first three ballots. As to his 
fitness for that oflSce we have the opinion of E. G. Ryan, 
his colleague from Racine County, who in convention 

Marshall Mason Strong, Racine Pioneer 345 

business had seldom been in agreement with him. Mr. 
Ryan contributed a series of articles to the Racine Advocate 
during the convention, under the pseudonym *Xobby," and 
in commenting on the resignation of Mr. Strong directly 
after that event, he said, among other things: *'His 
resignation is deeply lamented by all with whom he has 
been in the habit of acting, and his presence in the hall 
is greatly missed by all. His whole course in the convention 
was marked by great ability; he was ever a ready, fluent, . 
and practical debater; very courteous in his bearing to all, 
and frequently, when assailed, giving proofs by his calmness 
and self-possession, of eminent fitness as well in temper 
as in ability for his position. His circumstances would 
undoubtedly have rendered the presidency of the conven- 
tion a more desirable position to him ; his occasional presence 
in the chair fully warranted his claims upon it; and neither 
I nor many others here have now any doubt that had 
the usages of the party been observed, and a caucus nomi- 
nation made that nomination would have fallen upon 
him. The result was a far greater loss to the public than to 
him. Without any injustice to the present presiding officer, 
I feel well warranted in saying that, if Mr. Strong had been 
chosen the president, the convention would have adjourned 
weeks ago with a better constitution than they have now 
adopted." When in the midst of controversy a man steps 
aside to praise his adversary, he may be given credit for 

In the campaign for ratification of the constitution of 
1846 Marshall M. Strong was generally recognized as leader 
of the opposition. He addressed a big rally of the antis 
at the Milwaukee courthouse on March 6, 1847, which 
was reported for the Madison Wisconsin Argus by its corre- 
spondent **John Barleycorn"; he said that when introduced 
to the meeting, Mr. Strong was "greeted with overwhelming 
cheers for several minutes. He spoke about half an lioiir 


Eugene Walter Leach 

in his usual calm, clear, and convincing manner. The style 
of his oratory is peculiar. Though there is nothing striking 
about it, yet no man can listen to him without feeling his 
soul strangely and powerfully stirred up — without feeling 
that a large and noble soul is communing with his soul at 
unwonted depths. How strange it seems, and yet how 
welcome in these days of shallow quackery and raving 
demagogism to listen to a true man! . . . All that I have 
seen of Strong has conspired to give me an exalted opinion of 
the man." This writer gave expression to the feeling of many 
who listened to Mr. Strong. His positions — and his argu- 
ments in support of them — were not always unassailable, 
though taken and maintained with such evident sincerity 
and great earnestness as to convince the open-minded and 
compel the respect of all. The Milwaukee Sentinel and 
Gazette, in reporting the above meeting, said that "Marshall 
M. Strong followed Mr. Kilbourn, and for five minutes after 
his name was announced and he appeared upon the stand, 
cheer upon cheer shook the building and woke up responsive 
echoes from without. Most cordial indeed was the recep- 
tion extended to Mr. Strong, and so he evidently felt it to 
be, for it stirred his blood as the trumpet call rouses up the 
warrior, and he spoke with a power and eloquence which 
told with wonderful effect upon his audience.'* 

Although Mr. Strong had the tastes and spirit of an 
aristocrat, there was no snobbery in him. He was a straight, 
a clear, and a clean thinker, with a fine scorn of anybody or 
anything that was crooked, or dubious, or unclean. It was 
an aristocracy of brains, and heart, and soul that claimed 
him, and to which he owned allegiance. In the social and 
civic organization and activities of the settlement, the vil- 
lage, and the city that was his home, he took the part of a 
man and a citizen. He kept store, as we have seen; he was 
a member of fire company, engine number one, at a time 
when the most effective fire-fighting apparatus known was 

Marshall Mason Strong, Racine Pioneer 347 

a hand-pump machine, and it was hard and often dangerous 
work when called out by an alarm; and in every other pos- 
sible way identified himself with the work, responsibilities, 
and other common interests of the community. 

The last ten or more years of Mr. Strong's life were 
devoted quite exclusively to the practise of his profession, 
in which he was preeminently successful. He was the 
recognized head of the bar of the first district, and had a 
large clientele. I have talked recently with a gentleman 
who, when a young man, knew Mr. Strong and heard him ^ 
argue cases in court. He told me that it was Mr. Strong's 
settled policy never to take a case unless convinced that 
justice was with his client. 

The special attention of the reader is invited to the por- 
trait of Mr. Strong accompanying this sketch. It does not 
require an expert physiognomist to see delineated there the 
fine traits of character ascribed to him by those who knew 
him well and appraised him truly. Of Mr. Strong's religious 
faith or experience I have learned but little, except that he 
had no church relationship, though his second wife and all 
of her family — the Ullmanns — were members of the Episco- 
pal Church. Mr. Strong died March 9, 1864, and is buried 
beside his first wife and four of his children, in the family 
lot in Mound Cemetery, Racine. 

Louise P. Kellogg 

The fur trade is the oldest industry of white men upon 
the North American continent; indeed, the fur traders often 
outran the explorers in their penetration of the interior and 
found their way to the farthest recesses of the unknown 
wilderness. After the French had formed a colony on the 
St. Lawrence, groups of Indians from the Upper Lakes 
ventured thither each year to exchange the skins of the 
animals they had captured for the strange and precious 
things the white men had to offer. It soon came to pass that 
a fur fair was held each summer on the island of Montreal. 
Late in June or early in July great fleets of Indian canoes 
came sweeping down the Ottawa, heavily laden with packs 
of peltry. From them disembarked many red men, who 
quickly set up their wigwams on the wide meadows around 
the little town and prepared their furs for sale. All the 
merchants of the colony, and some from overseas, gathered 
for this annual market. Booths sprang up as if by magic, 
in which was displayed merchandise that tempted the 
cupidity of the primitive visitors — knives and kettles, beads 
and armlets, blankets and cloth, looking-glasses and combs 
— articles manufactured expressly for the Indian trade. 

Frequently during these periods of exchange, the young 
habitants and their dusky customers became somewhat 
intimate, and an invitation would be offered and accepted 
to return with the red man to his home in the far West. 
Usually the Canadian who accepted such an invitation 
would obtain some goods from a merchant on shares, promis- 
ing to repay him with half of the profits of the expedition. 
Such an expedition required great courage and physical 
endurance. The trader was cut off from civilization always 

The First Traders in Wisconsin 


for a year, sometimes for several years if the Indians whom 
he accompanied did not make an annual voyage to Montreal. 
They were often hindered from doing this by the danger of 
falling into the hands of the hostile Iroquois, who waylaid 
all the trading paths and rivers to capture peltry to sell to 
the Dutch at Albany. While the hazard was great, the 
profits were also tremendous — from ten to twelve hundred 
per cent being the customary return. This, with the lure 
of the wilderness life, its freedom and adventure, led many 
French youths to go with the Indians to their western homes. 
Most of these young traders kept no journals, nor are there 
any records of their voyaging. All we know of them is the 
mention made in missionary reports of the coming or going 
of some white traders in the Indian trade flotillas. It is 
thus quite impracticable to say who was the first trader in 
the region that is now Wisconsin. He may have come and 
gone and left no trace, only rehearsing his adventures in 
later years around the hearth fires in his quiet Canadian 

About the year 1880 an interesting and curious manu- 
script was found in the Bodleian Library at Oxford, which 
proved to be the journals, written in English of a quaint 
and unusual style, of a French trader who visited Wisconsin 
about the middle of the seventeenth century. He styled 
himself Pierre Esprit Radisson, and narrated the events of 
four voyages undertaken in New France partly by himself, 
partly in company with one whom he calls his brother, 
Medart Chouart, Sieur de Groseilliers. The latter was in 
fact Radisson's brother-in-law, husband of his half-sister 

It was for a long time a mystery how these journals 
came to be found in an English library. We know now that 
after Radisson left the French service, he assisted the 
English in organizing the Company of Adventurers to 
Hudson's Bay, the greatest fur trading corporation in the 


Louise P, Kellogg 

world, which is still in active operation. Radisson also 
married an English wife and lived for many years in London, 
neighbor to Samuel Pepys, the famous diarist. With the 
latter 's papers these quaint journals of early voyages into 
the American Northwest passed into the Oxford library. 

The discovery of the journals was soon followed by their 
publication. Brought out in 1885 by the Prince Society of 
Massachusetts, they awakened much interest among west- 
ern historians, since except for Jean Nicolet, Radisson was 
the first white man whose account of voyages into the 
Upper Lakes region has been preserved. By some histo- 
rians he and Groseilliers are thought to have been the first 
discoverers of Iowa, of Minnesota, of the Dakotas, and of 
Manitoba. Others consider them the discoverers of the 
Mississippi River, and of an overland passage from Lake 
Superior to Hudson Bay. 

It is quite certain that Radisson wrote the journals of 
his voyages many years after they occurred; in fact, after 
he had been some years among the English and had learned 
to write their language. His memory for dates was very 
poor, and he made so many mistakes in his chronology that 
it is diflScult to determine when the voyages he narrates 
took place. On the other hand, his memory of what he 
saw and experienced was very keen, and from his pages we 
get the first picture of primitive Wisconsin in all its pristine 
beauty. These journals are thus among our most valuable 
historical sources. 

Radisson came to Canada in 1652 and deserted to the 
English before 1665; within these thirteen years, therefore, 
all of his four lake voyages must have occurred. The 
first one was involuntary. While hunting near Three Rivers 
he was captured by some prowling Iroquois, carried to their 
country, and finally rescued by the Dutch at Albany. A 
French priest met him there in September, 1653; by his 
mention of this fact we can date the first voyage 1652-53. 

The First Traders in Wisconsin 


Radisson then describes his "Second Voyage to the Upper 
Country of the Iroquois." From the Jesuit Relations we 
can easily date this voyage as from July 26, 1657 to April 
3, 1658, when the party he was with came back to Montreal. 

The voyages in which Wisconsin people are most 
interested are the two which Radisson took together with 
Groseilliers to the region of the Upper Lakes. In his jour- 
nals the descriptions of these western voyages follow those 
to the Iroquois country. It has been assumed, therefore, 
that they necessarily followed these in date, and that both 
must have occurred after the spring of 1658. Radisson calls 
the first of these the "Auxoticiat Voyage" into the Upper 
Lakes. No one has yet determined what this title means. 
There are many reasons to believe that this so-called *'third" 
journey occurred before the "second journey to the Iroquois 
country." For instance, in 1654 the governor of New France 
sent two traders back with the Indian flotilla which came 
down to Montreal that year, the first in several years. 
These two traders were absent from the colony until 1656, 
when they came back with the trade flotilla. From the 
Jesuit Relations we learn that one of them was Groseilliers; 
it has seemed probable, therefore, to many writers that the 
other one was Radisson, and that this was the voyage he 
describes as his "auxoticiat." That same year, 1656, 
twenty-eight French traders started to ascend the Ottawa 
River, but were driven back by an attack of the hostile 
Iroquois. Radisson, in his "auxoticiat" voyage, describes 
just such an attack, and says that he and Jiis brother, unhke 
the other traders, went on and finally reached the Upper 
Lakes. He says also that they were three years in all upon 
this journey to the West. In view of our knowledge that in 
July, 1657 Radisson was on his way to the Iroquois coun- 
try, how can these discrepancies be reconciled? 1 venture 
to propound the following theory : 

When in 1654 the governor proposed to send two traders 
home with the western Indians, he naturally turned to 


Louise P. Kellogg 

Groseilliers, who was much older than Radisson and had 
several times voyaged as far as Lake Huron, and had 
visited on Georgian Bay the tribes that later migrated to 
Wisconsin. Groseilliers had afterward visited France, and 
upon his return to Canada married, on August 24, 1653, 
Radisson's sister. At this time, as we have seen, the younger 
man was in captivity among the Iroquois. When released 
in the autumn of 1653, he, too, went to France; the date of 
his return to Canada is not known, but it may not have 
been until after Groseilliers had gone in the summer of 
1654, at the governor's request, with the western Indians. 
Groseilliers came back, as we have also seen, with the 
trading fleet of 1656. May he not at this time have induced 
his young brother-in-law to go back with him for another 
year of profitable trade with the Indians whom he knew so 
well? This supposition would account for Radisson's 
description of the outward journey of 1656 as his first intro- 
duction to the West ; it would also account for his statement 
that the voyage lasted three years, since he was describing 
both his own and Groseilliers' adventures — all the more that 
Groseilliers had the misfortune to lose his own journal on the 

If this explanation be accepted, it follows that Radisson 
himself on this first western voyage spent but one year in 
the West (1656-57), but that his descriptions cover the 
adventures of Groseilliers (1654-57) as well as his own. 
This theory makes it easier to understand the difficulty 
encountered in attempting to construct any itinerary of this 
voyage. As far as Sault Ste. Marie all is clear; after that it 
seems impossible to map out any route that will answer all 
Radisson's descriptions. We believe that he himself spent 
his year in and around Green Bay, and perhaps ventured as 
far south as the Illinois country. His descriptions of the 
northern country, of the land of the Sioux and the Cree, 
were derived from the reports of Indians. He uses the 

The First Traders in Wisconsin 


pronoun "we'' in describing these; but an attentive reading 
will show that he was quoting what the Indian narrator 
said, when he used "we" for himself and his fellow Indians. 

In the summer Groseilliers fell ill, and Radisson wan- 
dered off with a group of natives. He speaks in this connec- 
tion of a "great river which divides itself in 2." This phrase 
has been thought to be a reference to the Mississippi River; 
but the account he gives is too indefinite to establish the 
claim that Radisson was the discoverer of that great water- 

Radisson and Groseilliers made still another journey to 
the Upper Lakes; this time they departed by stealth, the 
governor being opposed to so many young men leaving the 
colony for life among the Indians. On this second western 
voyage they visited the country around Lake Superior. It 
probably occurred between 1658 and 1660, since Radisson 
says that upon their return they passed the place where a 
few days before Dollard and his heroic companions had 
sacrificed their lives to the Iroquois at the Canadian Ther- 
mopylae. The itinerary of this voyage is not difficult to 
trace. After reaching Sault Ste. Marie the travelers entered 
Lake Superior; skirting its southern coast, they portaged 
across Keweenaw Point, and arriving at Chequamegon Bay 
built a log hut on the southwest shore of tlie mainland. 
This was without doubt the first white habitation in Wis- 
consin of which any record has come down to us. 

Leaving their stores in this hut, the traders accompanied 
the Ottawa to their village on Lac Court Oreilles. It was 
winter before they finally concluded their preparations, and 
the Indian village at the lake side was destitute of food. 
Radisson describes the famine in most vivid terms: "Here 
comes a new family of these poore people dayly to us, lialfe 
dead, for they have but the skin & boans. ... In the 
morning the husband looks uppon his wife, y"^ Brother his 
sister, the cozen the cozen, the Oncle the nevew, that woart^ 


Louise P, Kellogg 

for the most part found deade. They languish w*^ cryes 
& hideous noise that it was able to make the haire starre 
on y® heads that have any apprehension. Good God, have 
mercy on so many poore innocent people." The prayer was 
heard, for a sleet storm fell that crusted the ice, so that the 
deer broke through and were easily captured. 

In the spring a rendezvous was made at the head of 
Lake Superior for the Cree Indians of the north. This 
probably occurred near the present city of Superior. Radis- 
son at once perceived that the most valuable furs were 
to be collected in the northern country. His plan, that after- 
ward resulted in the organization of the Hudson's Bay 
Company, probably began to take form in his mind at this 
time. This conference over, the two traders took the over- 
land trail to the great Sioux village on Lake Mille Lac. It 
has been suggested that its inhabitants, the Isanti tribe 
(now known as the Santee Sioux) took their name, which 
means ''Knife Sioux," from the fact that they were the 
first of the Sioux to obtain steel knives from these French 

Retracing their steps to Chequamegon Bay, Radisson 
and his comrade found that the Ottawa had arrived before 
them and had built a village on the point. The traders 
thereupon built a second hut supposedly on Houghton 
Point. It was at this time that Radisson broke or strained 
his leg, which was cured by rubbing with hot bear's oil. 

After many adventures the French and the tribesmen 
gathered at the Sault and descended to the colony. Our 
traders had been very successful; they brought from the 
West a fortune in furs estimated at $60,000. But the 
governor, angered because they had gone out without 
authorization, confiscated their cargo. Thereupon Radisson 
and Groseilliers determined to offer their services to the 
English, and departed from the colony of Canada. 

The chief importance of Radisson's journals lies not in 
finding their exact dates, nor in tracing the exact route he 

The First Traders in Wisconsin 


traveled. His narrative is unique, a picture of Wisconsin 
in its original state, before its natural features or its aborigi- 
nes had been changed by contact with the white men. 
The narrator had an eye for natural beauty. The first 
region he visited he thus describes: "The country was so 
pleasant, so beautifull & fruitfuU that it grieved me to see 
y* y^ world could not discover such inticing countrys to live 
in. This I say because the Europeans fight for a rock in the 
sea against one another, or for a sterill land and horrid 
country that the people sent heare or there by the change- 
ment of the aire ingenders sicknesse and dies thereof. 
Contrarywise these kingdoms [the Mississippi and Upper 
Lakes region] are so delicious and under so temperat a 
climat, plentifull of all things, the earth bringing foorth its 
fruit twice a yeare, the people live long and lusty and wise 
in their way." And again: "The further we sejourned the 
delightfuller the land was to us. I can say that [in] my life- 
time I never saw a more incomparable country, for all I 
have ben in Italy; yett Italy comes short of it, as I think." 
"What conquest would that bee att litle or no cost; what 
laborinth of pleasure should millions of people have, 
instead that millions complaine of misery and poverty!" 
Was Radisson the first western land agent? Or was he 
rather the prophet of the Mississippi Valley where millions 
of Europe's poor were to find homes that would seem to 
them a "laborinth of pleasure".'^ 

Passing along Lake Superior, Radisson found the coasts 
"most delightfull and wounderous." He especially admired 
"a bank of rocks like a great Portall, by reason of the beat- 
ing of the waves. The lower part of that oppcniiig is as 
bigg as a tower." At Chequamegon Bay the travelers 
found a "cape very much elevated like piramides." At Lake 
Court Oreilles, where he arrived in winter, Radisson says 
that "the snow stoocke to those trees that are there so 
ruffe, being deal trees, prusse cedars, and thorns, that 


Louise P. Kellogg 

caused y* darknesse upon ye earth that it is beUeved that 
the sun was ecHpsed them 2 months." 

At Mille Lac the Frenchmen were offered wild rice to 
eat. "It growes in the watter in 3 or 4 foote deepe. There 
is a God that shews himselfe in every countrey, almighty 
full of goodnesse, and ye preservation of those poore people 
who knoweth him not. They have a particular way to 
gather up that graine. Two takes a boat and two sticks, 
by w""^ they gett y^ eare downe and gett the corne [kernel] out 
of it. Their boat being full, they bring it to a fitt place to 
dry it, and this is their food for the most part of the winter." 
Radisson also describes the fishes and birds he noticed. 
When he writes: "There are birds whose bills are two and 
20 thumbs long. That bird swallows a whole salmon, keeps 
it a long time in his bill," we recognize the pelican. The 
moose "is a mighty strong animal, much like a mule, having 
a tayle cutt off 2 or 3 or 4 thumbs long, the foot cloven like a 
stagge. He has a muzzle mighty bigge. I have seen some 
that I put into it my 2 fists att once with ease." 

More important still is his account of the primitive 
Indians and of their domestic arts. He describes their 
weaving and their pottery, their calumets, dress, and orna- 
ments, their feasts and fasts, their games and dances. He 
was present at their councils, where he and his comrade were 
treated with great honor. "We weare Cesars," he writes, 
"being nobody to contradict us." In this terse phrase he 
sums up the attraction the Indian trade possessed for 
the youth of Canada. The average trader would not 
exchange his wilderness life for all the glittering pleasures of 
the court. Better be a "Cesar" in the wilderness than a 
sycophant at Versailles. 

Radisson also frankly reveals the seamy side of the fur 
trader's life, the long journeys and tedious winters in snow- 
covered huts in the forest; the constant danger of perishing 
by starvation or by a sudden hostile whim of some savage 

The First Traders in Wisconsin 


customers; the distaste induced in civilized men by their 
filthy habits and fickle dispositions. 

Radisson's descriptions of the primitive Indian dress 
and customs have not been studied by ethnologists as care- 
fully as they merit. Most Indian tribes had already 
acquired by direct or intertribal trade some French goods 
when the white men first met them. Not so the Sioux when 
Radisson visited their village. Here were savages in the 
stone age of progress, some of their weapons tipped with 
horn. Their hair was either worn long or burned off, "for ' 
the fire is their cicers," says the narrator. "They were all 
proper men and dressed w*^ paint," he says again. Then 
he goes on to describe their necklaces of snakeskins orna- 
mented with bear's paws, their garments of moose and 
deerskins. "Every one had the skin of a crow hanging att 
their guirdles. Their stokens all imbroidered w^^ pearles 
and w*^ their own porke-pick [porcupine] worke. They have 
very handsome shoose laced very thick all over w*^ a peece 
so wen att the side of y® heele, w''^ was of a haire of Buff 
[buffalo], w''*' trailed above half a foot upon the earth or 
rather on the snow." He mentions also their "light earthen 
pots," "girdles of goat's hair," and describes at length the 
ceremonial calumet adorned with a fan of eagle's feathers. 

Enough has been said to indicate the keen observation 
and vivid descriptions of this first-known trader in Wiscon- 
sin. His later apostasy made his memory odious to the 
Canadians, since none of their rivals were more injurious 
to the colony's prosperity than the English traders of the 
Hudson's Bay Company. 

The remainder of Radisson's life was even more eventful 
than his early years. Having visited Boston in order to 
secure ships for a voyage to Hudson Bay, he fell in with the 
royal commissioner. Sir George Cartaret, a great noble and 
friend of Charles II. Cartaret at once succumbed to the 
charm of the wild tales the young Frenchmen could tell 


Louise P. Kellogg 

and persuaded the latter to embark with him for England. 
En route they were captured by a Dutch privateer, finally 
landed on the coast of Spain, and made their way at last 
to London. There young Radisson became the lion of the 
day. He was entertained by great lords and ladies who 
listened avidly to his stories of adventure in the great 
western wilderness. Even the king was graciously pleased 
to summon Radisson to his presence, and he became a boon 
companion of Prince Rupert, the king's roystering cousin. 
Radisson's tales of the rich furs to be obtained from the 
Cree and other northern tribesmen aroused the cupidity of 
the English nobles. Ships were fitted out, and Radisson 
and Groseilliers, who had joined him in England, sailed for 
Hudson Bay. In the instructions orders were given to obey 
the commands of ''Mr. Gooseberry and Mr. Radisson." 
Upon their return with a rich cargo, prize money was 
awarded them, and in 1670 a charter issued for the Company 
of Merchant Adventurers to Hudson's Bay. 

In 1672 Radisson married Mary Kirke, daughter of one 
of the partners, and went to housekeeping in Seething Lane, 
then a fashionable London thoroughfare. 

Reverses later came, and Radisson petitioned for a 
pension. Once he re' ntered the French service for several 
years, and in a freebooting expedition damaged the forts of 
the very company he had helped to found. The French 
ministers were, however, suspicious of his loyalty, and 
insisted upon his bringing his English wife to France. This 
Radisson refused to do, and a tempting offer from an English 
diplomat took him back under the British flag. This time 
he was forced to swear allegiance to King Charles, and Louis 
XIV placed a price upon his head. 

During all these years he was making voyages to Hudson 
Bay for one nation or the other; finally, when the advance of 
age was felt, he retired permanently to his London home 
and lived on a small pension accorded to him by the great 

The First Traders in Wisconsin 


company whose fortunes he had made. Groseilliers had 
long since made his peace with France, and Hved and died 
quietly among his kindred at Three Rivers, Canada. Final- 
ly, an entry in the Hudson's Bay Company books, July, 
1710, mentions a pension paid to the widow of Mr. Radis- 
son. The old explorer and trader was no more. Some- 
where in a London churchyard rest the remains of Wiscon- 
sin's first trader, the first lover of her woods and waters, 
the first prophet of her future greatness. 

General Charles King 
university commandant 

Edwin E. Bryant, one of the most cultured men I had 
ever met, was then adjutant general of Wisconsin. In the 
summer of 1880 we had a great reunion of Wisconsin volun- 
teers of the Civil War, with Generals Grant and Sheridan 
prominent among the guests. The University Battalion, 
with the two Madison companies of state militia, came in 
and took part in the parade, and with them, as battalion 
commander, came Chandler P. Chapman of Madison, whom 
I had last seen as a lad of apparently about my own age, 
in the camp of the Sixth Wisconsin at Chain Bridge, in 
'61, his father being surgeon of that regiment. With them, 
too, in the University Battalion, was Allan Conover, who 
had succeeded Professor Nicodemus as head of the depart- 
ment of civil engineering at the University, and most 
unwillingly had fallen heir to the duties of military instruc- 
tor. The laws of the United States required of all colleges 
and universities availing themselves of the Agricultural Col- 
lege Act of 1862, tendering large grants of public lands, that 
they should give, as quid pro quo, regular instruction in 
military tactics, etc., and it is safe to say that regents, facul- 
ty, and most of the students had come to regard this depart- 
ment of the University as an unmitigated nuisance. If it 
had a friend in the University it was Professor Conover, 
who, because of it, had double work and no thanks. 

I was sore at heart over having to leave my regiment and 
the profession I loved, but beside that wreck of a sword 
arm, the seat of frequent and sometimes intense pain, I had 
found it impossible to provide for my family on the pay of a 
lieutenant, with the heavy costs of moving from station to 

^ The first installment of these recollections was printed in the March, 1922 issue of 
this magazine. — Editor. 

Memories of a Busy Life 


station, as we had been compelled to do. I felt that I must 
get into civil pursuits of some kind. I knew something of 
railway engineering and loved it, and Mr. Alexander Mitch- 
ell, president of the St. Paul Railway, and his great chief 
engineer, Don Whittemore, were willing to give me a start, 
but for some reason the matter hung fire. There was an 
obstacle which I could not discover, and at last it proved to 
be the general manager. It leaked out that he didn't want 
any "kid-gloved West Pointer" on the road. It was late in 
the summer, too late to try the Northern Pacific, where they 
had West Pointers and had found them valuable, and just 
then came the adjutant general, Bryant, asking me to visit 
Madison and look over the situation at the University. A 
similar request had come from two other western colleges or 
schools, but I wanted to try railway engineering. 

Bryant took me to see the head of the executive commit- 
tee of the Board of Regents, Mr. E. W. Keyes, who was 
bluff and cordial. I frankly told him I could not undertake 
the duties unless I could be assured that the University 
would make up the difference between my full and retired 
pay, a matter of only $600. He said it could not be done 
until the January meeting of the Board, but that then there 
would be no difficulty about it. We called on the Presi- 
dent,2 who seemed rather bored at being interrupted, but 
supposed the drills, as he said, would have to be kept up, 
only he wished to have no "friction" — that appeared to be 
the bugbear. The only man really interested in my coming 
was Allan Conover. He said in proper hands the military 
department could be a valuable adjunct to the general 
system of the University. It could be the means of teaching 
the student respect for authority as well as habits of neat- 
ness, promptitude, etc. I called on two or three elderly dons 
of the institution who had known my father and whom 1 

2 John Bascom, D.D., LL.D., president of the University of Wisodnsin from 1874 
to 1887 —Editor. 


General Charles King 

had known when as a Httle boy I had visited Madison with 
him. They were courteous, but rather apathetic; they were 
averse to mihtary training. The nation had seen enough 
of war to last it a century, and it would never again, said 
they, be so foolish as to take up arms unless absolutely 
compelled to do so, in which event we would rely as before 
on the patriotism of the people. How often we have had 
to listen to that same line of talk in the long years that 
followed ! 

The result of my visit to Madison was that I came away 
convinced that in University circles the military depart- 
ment was looked upon as a detriment and I determined to 
go back there and show that it was not. 

It was uphill work from the start. The government, as 
I have said, had enacted that instruction in military tactics 
should be part of the regular instruction in every college 
or university that accepted the big bonus of public land un- 
der the terms of the Agricultural College Act of 1862, but 
no inspector had ever been sent about to see that it was 
done, and the matter had fallen into disregard. When 
military instruction was first started at the University of 
Wisconsin, being a new toy it began with some enthusiasm, 
but the monotony of the drills soon told against it, and little 
by little it lapsed into disrepute. The regents even passed 
over the government allowance of fine cadet rifles, such as 
were used at West Point, with all the concomitant equip- 
ment, to a little country college up at Galesville. Then 
somebody woke up to the fact that the University had 
practically repudiated its agreement with the War Depart- 
ment, and an effort was made to revive an interest in mili- 
tary instruction. The state legislature passed an act provid- 
ing that the University could have the use of such "obsolete 
arms" and equipment as were in its storehouse. The result 
was that the University found itself in possession of some 
old Civil War muskets, calibre fifty -eight, which had been 

Memories of a Busy Life 


remodeled by the unique process of driving a steel tube 
down the bore, rifling that, and producing a heavy, cumber- 
some arm, far more weighty and much less efficient than 
that used by the regular service. With these guns went a 
supply of old, bulky cartridge boxes of the Civil War period, 
and a set of rusty waist belts with leathern bayonet scab- 
bards. It was as antique an outfit as ever I set eyes on. 

I called on the President and represented the inadequacy 
of this equipment. He said he didn't know anything about 
it, and obviously he didn't care. The chairman of the - 
executive committee of the Board of Regents said that 
that equipment was all that my predecessors had had for 
some few years back and none of them had ever complained, 
which was probably true. The University authorities had 
ruled that all freshmen and sophomores should take the 
course, which at that time consisted of two drills a week. 
The special students decided that they were not involved, 
and we began work in September with something like 
thirty-five sophomores and forty freshmen, the former 
appearing in an old blue sack coat and cap that looked as 
though they had been handed down from the days of Camp 
Randall in '61. W^e drilled in a big wooden shed on top of 
the hill, then a little northwest of the main building wherein 
were the president's office and various class and recitation 
rooms, and the one bright aspect of the picture was that the 
lads who reported for duty were as sturdy a lot as ever I 
saw. The sophomores, under Professor Conover, the 
previous year had obviously had a conscientious instructor, 
but had never had sharp or critical test of their drill. The 
freshmen, of course, had had no experience. 

I invited all those who were really interested in the 
work to meet me every afternoon '*after school," as they 
called it, to take a special course in the school of the soldier, 
and as many as thirty reported. How well I renuMnl)er 
them, and how many have since won distinguisiied names 


General Charles King 

for themselves! Boardman, Kalk, John Kingston, Archie 
Church, RolHn B. Mallory were among the foremost. It 
was from this squad I hoped to make the future officers 
and non-commissioned officers of the battahon that was to 
be with the coming year. 

But it did not take me long to ascertain that there were 
just about as many young men still in their first two years 
at the University and not doing military duty as there 
were who were attending drill. Numbers of them used 
to hang about the gymnasium, so-called, and patronizingly 
watch their classmates who had to drill. At last I was able 
to get a list of the first- and second-year students, and began 
a round-up. That tickled the lads who were honorably 
doing their duty, and started a sensation in the school. 
Such a thing had never been done before. It was obviously 
looked upon as an assumption of authority, not to say 
military despotism. 

By this time it was early winter, and except for Professor 
Henry, with whom I had joined in September, and Professors 
Birge, Conover, Owen, and Parker, with whom I played 
whist, and a nodding acquaintance with Professor Irving, 
who was a distant connection, I had no friends among the 
faculty, some of whom had been instructors at the University 
when my father was one of its regents. At Columbia and at 
West Point when a new instructor joined the force the elders 
promptly called and bade him welcome. When Professor 
Watson died, early in the fall, Henry and I went together 
to the President's office to tender our services. He was out. 
So I wrote a courteous note, as the elder man of the two, 
and informed the President of our call and placed ourselves 
at his disposition for the funeral. The result was he invited 
Henry to ride with the faculty, but didn't notice the soldier 
at all, so the latter walked. Going to and fro each day I met 
others of the faculty, but only as strangers. 

Memories of a Busy Life 


Now, however, they began to call, or to stop me on the 
street, to remonstrate, to request that I should not require 
such and such a student to attend drill. I had succeeded in 
convincing the President that the University owed it as a 
duty to the government, and several of the faculty and 
several of the students took it much to heart that he should 
have turned against them. But when "school opened" in 
January, something like fifty young men who had succeeded 
hitherto in evading drills, were now, much to the delight of 
the soldier boys, notified that they must hereafter attend 
and might even have to make up for lost time. There was 
still a loophole for their escape, however. "Able bodied" 
students only were enrolled, and on a sudden there appeared 
a shower of so-called surgeon's certificates. At least forty 
of the lads descended upon the President, or upon me, with 
all manner of country doctors' letters or remonstrances, 
declaring this or that young man a victim of some malady, 
generally heart trouble, that would surely unfit him for 
military duty and would as certainly bring about serious 
results if he were compelled to drill. And yet the lads 
themselves looked sturdy enough in all conscience. My 
suspicions were aroused. I wrote to the doctors, and in sev- 
eral cases received answers that they had given no certifi- 
cates and knew no such lads; though their professional 
letterheads had been used, it was not their writing or signa- 
tures. In several cases it looked mightily as though the 
lads living in the same town had procured blank letterheads 
and written each other's certificates, signing with the name 
at the head of the slip. Two young men submitted hitters 
from alleged physicians as to whom I made inquiry through 
the local postmaster, only to be assured that no physician 
of that name lived in or near that town. 

I took these and some that I thought absohitely trivial 
to the President, and urged that we order the young men 


General Charles King 

to report for duty at once, and asked him if such proceedings 
on the part of the students were not punishable. He said, 
"possibly," but that I "must expect such things." That 
seemed to me trifling with the subject. The President held 
that he would be taking a fearful responsibility in disre- 
garding those physicians' certificates. I pointed out that 
six or seven were not even physicians' certificates, and then 
he did come to the rescue. But there were some of the 
baseball men who had brought certificates that their hearts 
were weak and "the violent exercise of military drill would 
inevitably injure them." I took the President over to the 
edge of the diamond one spring afternoon and showed him 
one of our self -registered wrecks whose heart could not 
stand the violent exercise of the drill, running bases like a 
meteor and sliding to second like a human catapult. I 
pointed out the fact that that man was getting more violent 
exercise in five seconds than he would get in military drill in 
five weeks. "It may be so," said he, "but we cannot go 
behind a medical certificate." I own that after this episode 
I did feel for a while like quitting. 

But by the time the spring was fairly on we found aid 
from an unexpected quarter. I had taught the special 
squad men the duty of greeting respectfully all oflScers and 
professors of the University, also the regents and the state 
authorities, whose ofiices were there in Madison, advising 
members of the battalion when in uniform to give the salute 
of an ofiicer, and when in civilian dress to raise the hat or 
cap, just as we freshmen at Columbia were taught in our 
first interview with the dean. The squad men carried out the 
instructions to the letter. The members of the sophomore 
class who were unwillingly serving objected: "Suppose we 
haven't been introduced," said their spokesman. The 
reply to this was that they were receiving, almost free, a 
liberal education at the expense of the state, and it was one 
way in which they could express their appreciation. Some 

Memories of a Busy Life 


of them saw the point and acted on it: others saw, but 
regarded it as an infraction of their rights as American 
citizens — a manifestation of subserviency. Three-fourths 
of their number, however, heeded the lesson, and also the 
suggestion that in their section rooms at recitation they 
should sit erect and scrupulously say "Sir" to their instruc- 

The first men to comment on this conduct were our new 
governor, Jeremiah Rusk, and his predecessor, my old 
friend General Fairchild, just returned from his diplomatic 
service abroad. By that spring of '81 the men of the little 
battahon were in trim, well-cut, soldierly uniforms of dark 
blue, with natty forage caps made in New York. They 
looked better than they did in civilian dress, and carried 
themselves accordingly. *T have lived in Madison nearly 
all my life, and never have I seen anything like it before," 
said General Fairchild. "They never saluted me when I 
was governor, and now they never pass me without it. It 
does me good to see it." Then Governor Rusk had his say: 
"I tell you it makes me hold my head up and throw out my 
chest, and what's more it tickles the other state officers, 
and they are all talking about it." Then certain elderly 
professors who had passed me long months in silence 
stopped, held out their hands in a shy, embarrassed way, 
and said: "I have been here a good many years and never 
have I known such manifestation of respect, or such cour- 
tesy, in or out of the classroom, and I'm glad of a chance to 
say so." This was just what Conover had predicted. 

The regents, however, had not seen their way to paying 
that $600 salary. They said the government conijK^llod 
them to have this military instruction, and although I had 
discovered by that time that one-fifth of the total income of 
the University came from that Agricultural College fund, 
most of the regents felt no corresponding obligation on th( ir 
part. Long years after, however, without a word from me 


General Charles King 

they sent me that money of their own accord. Two or three 
of their number began coming out in May, with the Gover- 
nor and his adjutant general, to see the prize drills; even the 
President appeared, though what he heard on one memo- 
rable occasion made him gasp with amazement and disappro- 
bation. General Fairchild brought with him to the first real 
review no less a personage than Gen. John Gibbon, who had 
commanded the Iron Brigade in its famous battle near 
Gainesville the twenty-eighth of August, '62, and Gibbon 
was much impressed with the absolute steadiness of the 
battalion, and quite ready to make a speech after the 
ceremony : 

have been greatly pleased with your performance," 
he said, "especially the fine discipline. Discipline is a great 
thing. Discipline is like whisky. Some whisky is better 
than other whisky, and other kinds are better still, but it is 
all good — now, that's the way with discipline." The rest 
of that speech no one probably remembers, but that part 
of it the President never forgot — nor did I. 

It was somewhere about this time that two comical 
things occurred. We had, of course, our conscientious ob- 
jector — a tall, serious young man who, having tried various 
avenues of escape from the hated drills and found them 
unavailing, came to deliver himself up, as it were. "But," 
said he, "I have come to say that I consider it a positive 
insult on your part to compel me to drill." I told him very 
quietly to go to the President and tell him what he had told 
me. Two days passed, and then the young man appeared 
at my door. I met him pleasantly, invited him in, and 
with the view of putting him as quickly as possible out of 
what I mistakenly supposed to be his embarrassment, per- 
haps humiliation, held out my hand with a word of welcome 
to the fold, and of pleasure that he should have thought 
better of his words. "I haven't come to talk about that," 
was his uncompromising answer. "It was to hand you 

Memories of a Busy Life 


this," and ''this" proved to be a note from the President, 
saying that he was convinced that the young man was 
sincere in his profession of faith that anything connected 
with mihtary training was a sin, and therefore he had 
decided to declare him exempt. Without another word, he 
turned and left. 

Then I sat down and wrote my first letter to the Presi- 
dent. It is unnecessary to repeat the words, but in forty- 
eight hours a written apology came from the student, and 
the incident might have been closed but for an announce- 
ment in the public press that the Signal Corps of the Army 
desired to enlist for military service a few young men of 
education, with a view to having them take a certain course 
of study and then be appointed observer sergeants — board, 
lodging, tuition absolutely free, abundant time for other 
study and exercise, and $50 per month pay while under- 
going instruction. 

I thought there must be some mistake about it some- 
where, but the conscientious objector obviously did not, for 
he promptly appeared with a letter from the President, 
asking me for a letter of recommendation for the bearer to 
the Chief Signal Officer of the Army. I took that letter to 
the President, and asked him if he had forgotten the young 
man's conscientious objections to any form of military 
service — and he had. 

A most devout Christian, a profound metaphysician, a 
ripe scholar, and an untiring writer — a man whose influence 
for good over the student body was something remarkable — 
he was so deeply concerned with the better and higher things 
in life that he could not always keep track, so to speak, of 
the innumerable little matters of academic routine that in 
those days had to be referred to the president. \\c hated 
to be interrupted in his work, even during office hours. Ho 
would look up impatiently when professor or iiistnietor 
entered to seek his decision on some point or other. wouKl 


General Charles King 

give it, and in five minutes would forget the entire matter. 
I sometimes doubted whether he really heard us. He was 
about the last man in Madison who would be guilty of a lie, 
yet he would deny his own decisions on occasion, because 
his head was in the clouds and his thoughts on high and holy 
things perhaps, when suddenly called upon to say whether 
the sub-freshmen were to attend lecture or drill, or whether 
the sophomores might use Professor So-and-So's room for 
a class meeting. 

He sent for me one day to say that a certain student 
complained of harsh treatment at my hands. I had had 
no trouble with the lad in question and told him so, but the 
Doctor said the youth was quite positive in his statement, 
and as president he must protest against my using violent 
language or methods to my charges, or anything like a dis- 
play of temper. "It weakens one's influence with young 
men," and I thoroughly agreed with him and was quite 
unconscious of having been guilty of any lapse such as he 
described.^ Just as luck would have it, at that very mo- 
ment commotion and uproar arose in the corridor without, 
and drowned his words. A score of sophomores had come 
charging down the stairway and were having an impromptu 
riot. All on a sudden the Doctor sprang to his feet, rushed 
out into the hall, and in an instant had collared one of the 
ringleaders and, to my huge delight and that of his fellow 
students, banged the young gentleman's head half a dozen 
times against the wall, and then, flushed, remorseful, yet 
triumphant, returned to his seat, with, presently, ''Er — 
what was it we were talking about?" 

I couldn't resist the opportunity. "The supremacy, Mr. 
President, of the suaviter in modo over the fortiter in re," 

For a moment the President gazed at me in bewilder- 

3 Somewhat later I learned the cause of my undeserved rebuke on this occasion. A 
student had complained of his treatment at the hands of "Professor King," and our good 
old President was unable to think of more than one "King" against whom the students 
could have reason to lodge a complaint. The instructor complained of was in fact another 
who bore the same name. — Author. 

Memories of a Busy Life 


ment. Then the whimsicahty of the thing dawned upon 
him and we had our first laugh together. 

"I didn't know they taught Latin in the Army/' he said 

"They don't, sir," was my answer, "and you must 
pardon my Columbia pronunciation." 

"Why, were — have you — been at college? I thought— I 
— Well, you must excuse me." 

But that discovery seemed to have enhanced my value 
in the Doctor's eyes. The secretaryship of the faculty had' 
become vacant, and who should be nominated and elected 
but the Professor of Military Science and Tactics, hitherto 
a stranger to faculty meetings ! 

Now, it had happened that while a lad in my grand- 
father's household at Columbia College the secretary of the 
faculty became a victim to occasional attacks of gout and 
could not wield the pen. I wrote a very good hand, so the 
secretary, an elderly uncle, pressed me into service, and it 
resulted that many pages of the records of Columbia in '59 
and '60 were my handiwork, and thereby I learned quite a 
lot about the business. 

This experience now became valuable. The President 
had not the faintest use for or appreciation of military 
ability, but that I should have been secretary de facto of 
Columbia's faculty — for famous men they were — lifted me 
measurably in his estimation. As president and as secretary 
we were much together, yet differences over the military 
department would occasionally arise. 


Every Friday evening in 1881 I had been going in to 
Milwaukee to drill the Light Horse Squadron, and in the 
spring of 1882 began the long years of my association with 
the Wisconsin troops as their instructor and for many 
years their inspector. The first seven were under that 


General Charles King 

genial and redoubtable old war horse of a governor, Jeremiah 
M. Rusk, and there was a man it was a joy to serve with 
and study! For his adjutant general he had selected the 
first commander of the Lake City Guard, a company com- 
posed of the best young men in Madison. Both in the 
Knights Templar and the militia. Chapman speedily earned 
repute as a drillmaster, and it was this quality in him — the 
other of the two sixteen-year-old boys of the old Iron Bri- 
gade on the Potomac in '61 — that drew us, twenty years 
later, into close comradeship. I speedily pointed out to him, 
and he to the Governor, that quite a number of the state 
companies were not drilling in accordance with Upton's 
Infantry Tactics, but some of them according to the Hardee- 
Casey methods of the Civil War, one or two by the so-called 
Zouave tactics, and one even by the system in vogue in 
Germany before the needle gun had been placed in the 
hands of the Prussian soldiery. 

This was all contrary to the orders of the War Depart- 
ment, and I received orders to allow nothing but the author- 
ized infantry tactics of the United States Army. 

Nine out of ten of the captains cordially cooperated, but 
two or three stiff-necked German veterans "bucked" 
against it. One of them had quite a political backing in 
Milwaukee, and he showed fight. Following the method so 
successfully carried out at that time in the Army & Navy 
Journal in New York, and as the speediest and surest 
method of bringing about uniformity of instruction among 
the scattered companies, I published each week in the Sun- 
day Telegraph a column or two of comments on the drills, 
and later the inspections, of the companies that successively 
were visited. These columns, clipped out and posted on the 
bulletin boards throughout the state armories, taught the 
entire Guard the good points to be followed and the errors 
to be avoided. It was welcomed by all the companies that 
were earnestly striving for excellence in drill, and highly 

Memories of a Busy Life 


objectionable to the three or four German captains whose 
errors were flagrant, and a deputation of their friends in the 
legislature called on the Governor. *'Why," said their 
spokesman, "at the inspection of the Turner Rifles he didn't 
give them a thing they could do!"— which was practically a 
fact, but it never occurred to the spokesman that this was 
all the captain's fault, not that of the inspector. However, 
the political friends of the aggrieved officers worried the 
Governor a bit, and he sent for me. "King," said he, 
"you'll have to go easy with that company; all but three of - 
them are Republicans," which was the nearest approach to 
politics in Guard matters that I had yet encountered. The 
Milwaukee press about this time took a hand in the discus- 
sion. Uncle Billy Cramer, in the Evening Wisconsin, loyally 
backing the Republicans' view of that case, and declaring 
that Wisconsin had no room in its ranks for martinets, 
which brought about the discovery that the officer stigma- 
tized as a martinet had simply carried out the orders of the 
Adjutant General, given with the full knowledge of the 
Governor. Then there came a lull in the firing. 

Chapman organized the scattered companies into four- 
company battalions in '82, and then into regiments, and the 
regimental camp was held each year at the race track or fair 
grounds of some one of the larger towns in the regimental 
district, the troops moving thither by rail on a Sunday, 
drilling quite assiduously for three or four days; then came 
the Governor with a "glittering staff" (so described in the 
local journals) — three generals, and a dozen colonels in full- 
dress uniform. There was a review and parade in camp, 
and a march through the streets of the town. The crowning 
feature was the reception held by "Uncle Jerry" and staff 
to all the neighboring populace, in the big parlor or porch of 
the biggest hotel, and then the Governor was in his glory. 
He delighted in the people of Wisconsin and they in him. 
He always had two or three glib speakers in his train, and 


General Charles King 

when his health was proposed or an address made in his 
honor, he rose to the occasion, six feet four under his silk 
hat, beamed benevolently, bowed profoundly, thanked 
everybody in one comprehensive sentence, and then intro- 
duced Colonel Clough or Colonel Aldrich to speak for him. 

Each spring I made the rounds of the state and the 
inspections required by the state laws, but in the fall and 
winter came the hard work, going from town to town to 
spend three days or so with each unit, coaching and drilling 
long hours at a time. 

It was during the course of the spring instruction and 
inspection in 1886, that the mayor of Milwaukee pointed 
out to me that all the second-hand arms in the pawn shops 
had suddenly become marketable. In a week all were sold, 
and by inspection and inquiry among the local company 
commanders I ascertained that they had only three ball 
cartridges to the man. The mayor was frankly alarmed at 
the prospects. Grottkau and other agitators had been 
making inflammatory speeches to big crowds of foreign- 
born citizens. We had a German sheriff and a German 
chief-of-police, and it was confidently prophesied we were 
going to have trouble. I kept Chapman advised as to the 
conditions, and Chapman told the Governor, and asked for 
authority to send to the Rock Island arsenal for ammuni- 
tion. The Governor said he would have no intimidation, 
and called us alarmists. Late in April, however, he came to 
Milwaukee for the four-day session of the Scottish Rite 
Masons, and before he could get away certain prominent 
citizens took him in hand and told him their apprehensions. 
He had conferences with the leading editors, among others, 
and then returned to Madison, sent for Chapman and, as 
Chapman later declared, wanted to know why in the sub- 
urbs, let us say, he and King hadn't kept him informed of 
conditions. Ammunition was telegraphed for at once, but 
Uncle Jerry wouldn't let it go direct to Milwaukee; it was 

Memories of a Busy Life 


shipped to Madison, repacked in dry-goods boxes, with 
certain blankets, overcoats, and things of that description, 
and thus "camouflaged" came in a freight car to the old 
Reed Street Station, where I met it with Quartermaster- 
Sergeant Huntington and two or three old reliables of the 
"Light Horse," and in less than half an hour thereafter we 
had 31,000 rounds of ball cartridge in the vault of the 
newly-built armory on Broadway, and nobody the wiser. 

We had no riot guns and cartridges in those days, deadly 
at less than two hundred yards, but warranted not to harm 
innocent spectators a block or two away. Such as it was, 
however, the death-dealing ammunition came only just in 
time. The big labor parade, so-called, with red flags galore, 
came off on May 1, and next day the men quit or were 
driven from work by armed mobs all over the shops in 
the Menomonee valley and elsewhere. By May 3 the city 
was in the hands of the rioters, and the Governor was sum- 
moned to town. He came; held a conference that night at 
the Plankinton with the sheriff and chief-of -police. Roswell 
Miller, general manager of the St. Paul Railway, was pres- 
ent, with his local superintendent, Mr. Collins, and told 
the Governor, "flatfooted," his shops had all been raided, 
his men dared not return to them unless given mihtary 
protection, and he could not run his trains. It was the duty 
of the sheriff, under the circumstances, to turn the situation 
over to the Governor; but the sheriff still clung to the 
fatuous belief, and the mayor seemed to side with him, that 
he could persuade the mobs to disperse. Therefore, they 
would not ask the Governor for troops, and the meeting 
broke up at midnight. 

But by early morning the calls for protection swaiiiped 
both sheriff and police, and after one meeting witli the mob 
the sheriff came posthaste to the Governor, and within an 
hour thereafter the riot alarm was sounding in every fire- 
bell tower, the local troops were promi)tly asseniblim:, and 


General Charles King 

Chapman was wiring as far west as Darlington for the 
companies of the First Infantry. By noon the Fourth 
BattaHon, a local organization, was sent by rail to the 
rolling mills at Bay View, then threatened by a big crowd. 
The first companies to arrive from out of town were sta- 
tioned in the old Allis works ; one company of Polish troops, 
inexperienced and badly led, was subjected at Bay View to 
ludicrous indignities at the hands of the south-side rioters, 
but the big plants were saved. 

That night all over town the proletariat held fiery meet- 
ings and were addressed by "red" orators, who urged them 
to go to the rolling mills in force and throw the soldiers into 
the lake. The Governor made his headquarters at the 
armory, kept in telephone touch with the major command- 
ing at that point, and sent as reinforcements two American 
companies from Janesville. The rioters set fire to freight 
cars and the big fence around the works, and the night 
was full of rumors, but nobody was hurt, until in broad 
daylight, with banners floating and with vast enthusiasm, 
the south-side mob swept down the causeway leading 
straight to the main entrance to the mills. The major tele- 
phoned to the Governor, and I was standing by him as he 
gave the order. The old war horse said, "Fire on them!" 
and one volley from three of the companies was all-sufii- 
cient. The mob was still nearly two hundred yards off, and 
flattened out at the crash of the rifles as though a hundred 
were hit, but only six were really punctured. Pierced by 
three bullets, the standard bearer fell, but lived. Struck by 
a single bullet, a law-abiding citizen, feeding chickens in his 
back yard nearly a mile away, dropped dead. 

Then the scene of action shifted to the Milwaukee Gar- 
den, at the northwest side, and there a huge crowd, mainly 
Germans, defied police and sheriff, who endeavored to dis- 
perse them. These officials appealed for help. The Gover- 
nor ordered me to take the Light Horse and the two com- 

Memories of a Busy Life 


panics of infantry that were available, all we had, and end 
the business. We never had to pull a trigger. The troops 
were placed where their volleys could sweep the adjacent 
streets and, thus heartened, the police were sent in to arrest 
all ring-leaders and turbulent rioters. We loaded up three 
or four wagons full, and in a hollow square of soldiery 
trundled them off to jail, and so ended the Milwaukee riots 
of 1886. 

And then and there began, most deservedly, the boom for 
Uncle Jerry's third and triumphant term as governor. He 
was in the heyday of his fame and reputation when he went 
with his state officials, his military staff, and his Grand 
Army attendants to the funeral of General Grant in New 
York City, probably the greatest pageant of the kind the 
metropolis had ever seen. Everybody had heard of the 
Wisconsin governor who had ''knocked the backbone out of 
anarchy with a single volley," for all the world like Napo- 
leon's "whiff of grapeshot," and even on so solemn an 
occasion, the dense crowds in places showed a disposition to 
applaud him. 

The orders of the grand marshal. General Hancock, were 
that the thousand carriages of the dignitaries taking part in 
the parade, the senators, the representatives, the governors 
and their staffs and state officers, the Supreme Court jus- 
tices, and hundreds of other notables should move four 
abreast up Fifth Avenue. When it finally came our turn 
(I was seated beside the Governor as his chief -of -staff, 
Chapman being unable to leave Madison) and we turned 
into Fifth Avenue at Twenty-third Street northward, the 
scene up to the crest of Murray Hill was something I shall 
never forget. The windows were filled and the sidewalks 
packed with spectators, while four parallel (olunins of 
black carriages moved slowly up the driveway. Directly 
in front of us were the carriages of the governor, the state 
officers and staff, and state legislature of Town, and only 


General Charles King 

three carriages were in their rearmost row. Then came, in 
the middle of the street and full ten paces behind that rear- 
most rank, the carriage of our leonine executive, his diminu- 
tive chief-of-staff on his left, his surgeon-general and his 
senior aide-de-camp facing us. Six paces behind us came 
the first row of four carriages, the state officials and four 
aides in the foremost rank. Directly opposite Madison 
Square an assistant marshal rode up and ordered our driver 
to whip up and take the vacant place in the rear rank of 
the Iowa legislature. In an instant Uncle Jerry towered 
to his full height. ''Stay where you are!" he thundered to 
the driver, who was preparing meekly to obey. 

''Those are General Hancock's orders, sir," pleaded the 

"Tell General Hancock he has no power to order the 
governor of Wisconsin to ride as part of the legislature of 
Iowa, and that he refuses to do so!" roared Uncle Jerry. 
The marshal saluted and withdrew. A block farther on, the 
the same thing was repeated. Three blocks farther, also, 
but never once would Uncle Jerry yield. The order, of 
course, was a mistake and never was intended to apply to 

After seven memorable years as head of the state. Uncle 
Jerry gave way to another war-tried veteran, William 
Dempster Hoard of Fort Atkinson, who chose George W. 
Burchard to be his adjutant general, but continued me as 
inspector and instructor, with even wider scope than before. 
By this time a little tract had been cleared at Camp Douglas 
for a rifle range, and presently a regimental camp ground 
was staked out, and the Third Infantry, under the com- 
mand of Colonel Moore, were the first troops to occupy it. 
Lieut. Philip Reade of the Third Regulars, an expert in 
his line, had become instructor in rifle practice and did 
remarkable work. It took two or three years to persuade 
the First and Second regiments that better results would 

Memories of a Busy Life 


follow their camping at Douglas than at some favored town 
in the regimental district, but by the time George W. Peck, 
still another Civil War man, became governor all the state 
troops were camping at the reservation, one battalion suc- 
ceeding another. In this Democratic era I was transferred 
from staff to line duty, and placed in command of the 
Fourth Infantry, a Milwaukee battalion; but in 1892 I was 
additionally employed as commandant of the Michigan 
Military Academy at Orchard Lake, and in '93 was able to 
try out a long-cherished plan and take my household to ^ 


For by that time I had begun to earn quite a little money 
with my pen. It has always been my habit to keep a diary, 
especially when on campaign. While with General Emory 
in Louisiana, I wrote a Ku-Klux story of adventure in tlie 
South in the reconstruction days, sent it to the Harpers in 
New York, and received it back in three weeks with the 
stereotyped letter saying it was not available. It was pitched 
into a trunk and never again came under editorial notice 
until the early spring of '79, when Col. George A. Wood- 
ward, formerly sergeant-major of the old Milwaukee Light 
Guard, was editing The United Service, a Philadelphia maga- 
zine. He and his associates thought well enough of the story 
to say they would publish and push it in book form if 1 could 
put up four hundred dollars to cover certain expenses. I 
had just been placed on the retired list for "wounds received 
in line of duty," and said I couldn't put up four hundred 
cents. So again that story slumbered. But I wrote some 
short sketches for the magazine that found favor, and in 
1880 had told, for the columns of the Milwaukee SrnfinrL 
the story of the Sioux campaign of 187(). These wivkly 
numbers were later issued by the SoifinrI in painplihM form, 
under the title Campaigning with Crook:^ It actually sold, 
and the five hundred copies were gone in less than a year. 

* Maj. Gen. George Crook, famous Indian 6ghter.— Editor. 


General Charles King 

Then Woodward asked me to write a serial story of army 
life for The U nited Service, to run along with one of the navy 
prepared for them by a distinguished admiral, and all 
through '81 and '82 my serial ran, coming out in book form 
with the imprint of J. B. Lippincott Company of Philadel- 
phia, early in 1883, under the title The ColoneVs Daughter, 
From that time for thirty years my pen was seldom idle, 
and in the course of those thirty years some sixty books and 
two hundred and fifty short stories were the result. In 
1885 or '86 the Harpers wrote asking for a story for their 
magazine, got A War Time Wooing, found that it sold 
beyond their expectation, sent me a check beyond my 
expectation, and asked for another of double the length. 
For them I wrote Between the Lines, a story of the Army 
of the Potomac, which for long years outsold any others of 
mine, although Lippincott was bringing out a book a year 
for me (including that Ku-Klux story that nobody had 
wanted in '79) ; then it was that Harry Harper said to me-, 
on the occasion of a visit to the old house at Franklin 
Square, "How did it happen you fell in the hands of that 
Quaker concern in Philadelphia, when you could just as 
well have come to us?" Then I told him the tale of my 
first essay, and how quickly they had returned it. 

In 1893 there sprang into being in New York an associa- 
tion of writers that believed it possible to earn more money 
than was paid by the publishers. I had no fault to find with 
the prices given me for my wares, and indeed thought far 
more of military duties in Wisconsin that brought no reward 
in cash, save when some company that I had coached for 
competitive drills outside the state appropriated some of 
their prize money for the benefit of their instructor. The 
Michigan Military Academy, of course, paid well for ser- 
vices that took me away from home and required all my 
time. The Authors' Guild urged my joining it, just on the 
eve of my going to Europe with the wife and children three. 

Memories of a Busy Life 

They promised higher prices for my short stories than even 
Harper, Lippineott, or the syndicates were paying, so I 
agreed to send them two or three from Switzerland during 
the fall and winter, and did so. 

But on the way up the Rhine we received the distressing 
news that among a lot of banks to go under in the financial 
crash of that summer was the one in which my little hoard 
was placed. A month later, on the banks of Lake Geneva, 
came a cable from home telling us of the destruction by fire 
of my books, papers, and most cherished possessions in ' 
what had been alleged to be a fireproof warehouse. A 
month later still, the good wife slipped and fell on the 
parquet floor of my sister's home near Lausanne; a bone 
was split longitudinally, and the services of an expert 
surgeon were long in demand. The trip to Italy had to be 
abandoned, but the children had been placed in school, the 
family were deHghtfully housed for the winter at beautiful 
old Beau Rivage at Ouchy, so in March I came home to 
''mend fences." 

The first visit in New York was to the oflice of the 
Authors' Guild, where I had met a congenial party in June, 
but only empty desks and chairs were left to represent it. 
They had discovered that the publishers knew far more 
about business than the writers, and had incontinently quit. 

In April I was back in Milwaukee, writing day and night, 
and had I had two heads and six pairs of hands I could 
not then have accepted the chances given me. In the year 
that followed my return I wrote three or four long and I 
don't know how many short stories. 

Then the fourth of the Wisconsin war veterans, William 
H. Upham, was elected governor, and he recalled me to 
active duty with the Guard as adjutant general. 

Three years later came the war with Spain. Wisconsin 
was required to furnish three regiments al once, and thr 
First, Second, and Third Infantry were promptly mobilize*!. 
Two weeks later, on the President's list of brigadier gen- 
erals of volunteers appeared the names of two of tlie old 
"King's Corner crowd," Arthur ALacArthur and mysrlf. 

{To be continued) 

W. A. Titus 


Scattered like dust and leaves, when the mighty blasts of October 
Seize them, and whirl them aloft, and sprinkle them o'er the ocean, 
Naught but tradition remains of the beautiful village of Grand Pre. 

— Longfellow. 

Perhaps no historic location in Wisconsin has been the 
subject of so much speculation and doubt as has the early 
"Mascouten village," so frequently mentioned in the 
annals of the French explorers and missionaries. Antiqua- 
rians and students of Wisconsin history, adducing argu- 
ments that seemed to them logical and conclusive, have 
located the long-lost village site at several different points 
along the upper Fox River. Due to apparent discrepancies 
in the original records, these theoretical ''sites" extend from 
a few miles southwest of Omro to a few miles northeast of 
Portage, and involve three present-day counties — Winne- 
bago, Green Lake, and Columbia — the great weight of 
authority indicating that the village was located within the 
present limits of Green Lake County. ^ 

If one can credit the estimate of the population made by 
Dablon, the Mascouten village was the largest community, 
savage or civilized, that ever resided together within Green 
Lake County. This missionary, who spent considerable 
time in the village, reported to his provincial in 1675 that 
the population had increased to over twenty thousand souls, 
and that Father Allouez could no longer minister unassisted 
to so large a parish. Antoine Silvy is mentioned as the 
missionary assistant who was assigned to the Mascouten 
village, or the Mission of St. Jacques, as the reed chapel was 
styled by the French. Several years earlier Dablon had 

^ Wis. Hist. Colls., xvi, 42, note; and articles in Wis. Hist. Soe. Proceedings, 1906, 

Historic Spots in Wisconsin 


reported the village as having three thousand people, and 
he explained in the later report that the great increase in 
population was due to the arrival of refugees from other 

As regards the site of this aboriginal village, some facts 
are definitely stated in the Jesuit Relations that help to 
approximate the location. Allouez says distinctly that the 
community was a day's journey from the confluence of the 
Fox and Wolf rivers, and to support this statement we have 
the map of Marquette, accompanying his Journal of 1673, ^ 
and the map of the Lake Superior region with the Relation 
of 1670-71, both of which locate the village near the present 
city of Berlin. It is stated also that the bank of the river 
where the missionaries left their canoes was hard, not 
marshy, and that they proceeded across a prairie to the 
village which was on an elevation about two miles south 
of the river. Again, we read in the Relations that the sur- 
rounding country was a fertile prairie region, relieved by 
slight elevations, and not forested except for scattered 
groves of elm and oak on the higher grounds. 

The unfortunate discrepancy that has caused so much 
misunderstanding about this location is the single statement 
of Marquette, wholly at variance with his map, that the 
Mascouten village was only three leagues from the portage 
of the Fox and Wisconsin rivers, and it is more than prob- 
able that this is due to a mistake in copying the journal. 
Very likely the missionary -explorer originally entered in his 
journal "thirty leagues" rather than "three leagues." As 
the river distance from the portage to Berlin is about 
eighty-five miles, this explanation would harmonize the 
statements of Allouez and Marquette, and agree sub- 
stantially with the maps before mentioned. 

For some reason or other, perhaps because of its unusual 
size, the Mascouten village attracted to a marked degree tlie 
attention of all early explorers and missionaries. The 


W. A. Titus 

Jesuit Relations and other annals of the period tell us much 
of the village and its people. It was a cosmopolitan com- 
munity, inhabited by several different tribes at the same 
time, and in times of stress it seems to have been a "city of 
refuge" for even distant tribesmen. The cabins were built 
of woven reeds, the village was well fortified by palisades, 
and because of its large population it was necessarily of 
considerable extent. 

Allouez first came to the village in 1670 as an itinerant 
missionary, and he established there in 1672 the Mission of 
St. Jacques. Dablon was with Allouez at this mission a 
part of the time. Father Marquette and his companion, 
Jolliet, were at this village for three days in 1673. Hennepin 
saw the Mascouten community in 1680, as did Le Sueur in 
1683, Nicolas Perrot in 1685, and Lahontan in 1689. 

Dablon and Allouez have given us in the Jesuit Relations 
a detailed account of the village, its people, and the country 
surrounding it. Following are extracts from the letter of 
Father Allouez to the Reverend Father Superior: "On the 
twenty-ninth [of April, 167^0] we entered the river that 
leads up to the Maskoutench, called Tire Nation' by the 
Hurons. This river is very beautiful, without rapids or 
portages; its direction is southwest. The thirtieth, having 
disembarked opposite the village and left our canoe at the 
water's edge, after a walk of a league over beautiful prairies, 
we perceived the fort. The savages having discovered us, 
made first a cry in their village; they ran to us, accompanied 
us with honor to the cabin of the chief, where first they 
brought us refreshments and greased the feet and legs 
of the Frenchmen who were with me; afterward they 
prepared a feast. ... In the evening I assembled them 
and made them a present of cloth, knives, and hatchets, 
to let them know the Black Robe. T am not the Manitou 
who is Master of your lives, who has created the heavens 
and the earth; I am His creature, I obey Him and carry 

Historic Spots in Wisconsin 


His work over all the lands.' I explained to them after- 
wards the articles of our holy faith, and the command- 
ments of God; these good people only half understood 
me. . . . The savages named Oumami [Miami] are here 
only in small number; the greater part have not arrived 
from their hunt, so that I say nothing of them partic- 
ularly. Their language is conformable to their temper; 
they are mild, affable, grave; also they speak slowly. 
. . . These people are established in a very fine place, 
where we see beautiful plains and level country as far 
as the eye reaches. Their river leads to a great river 
called Messisipi; there is a navigation of only six days: 
along this river are numerous other nations. . . . The 
kindnesses they did me occupied me almost all the day. 
They called at my lodge to see me, took me home with 
them, and after seating me on some beautiful skin, they 
presented me with a handful of tobacco which they placed 
at my feet. Then they brought me a kettle full of fat 
meat and Indian corn, with a speech of compliment which 
they made me. I have always taken occasion from this 
to inform them of the truth of our faith. Crod has given 
me the grace to be always understood, their language being 
the same as that of the Saki. . . . This people appeared 
very docile. 

**Here is a mission all ready, compovsed of two nations 
dwelling together, capable of fully occupying a missionary. 

In the Relation of 1670-71 Father Claude Dablon in his 
report to Rev. P. J. Pinette, Provincial, makes furtlier 
mention of the Mascouten village. After a description of 
the difficult passage up the rapids of the lower Fox, lie 
describes the country of the Mascouten as follows: 

"After one has passed these ways, equally rough and 
dangerous, as a recompense for all these diHicultios which 

2 R. G. Thwaites, Jesuit Relations and Allied Dociimrnt.n (Cleveland. 1H96 IJXW^ liv. 
227-233; Louise P. Kellogg, pMrly Narratives of the Northwest (New York. 1PI7). 135 l.W 


W. A. Titus 

one has overcome, we enter into the most beautiful country 
that can ever be seen; prairies on all sides as far as the eye 
can reach, divided by a river which gently winds through 
them, and on which to float by rowing is to repose one's self. 
When we have arrived at this place, we have passed the 
forests and the hills; there are only small elevations here 
and there, covered with groves, as if to offer their shade to 
the traveler that he may refresh himself from the heat of 
the sun. 

"Here are seen only elms, oaks, and other trees of like 
nature, not like those ordinarily found on bad lands which 
are merely fit to cover cabins with their bark, or to make 
canoes. For this reason these people know not what it is 
to go on water, and have no other houses, for the most part, 
than those made of rushes bound together in the form of 
mats. ... 

"This is all a prairie country . . . which richly feeds 
wild cows that one meets with pretty often in droves of four 
or five hundred beasts, readily furnishing by their number, 
food for entire villages who for that reason are not obliged 
to separate by families during the hunting season, as the 
savages of other countries do. 

*Tt is also among these rich pastures where are found 
buffaloes . . . which much resemble our bulls in size and 
strength. . . . Their flesh is excellent, and its fat mixed 
with the wild oats makes the most delicate dish in this 
country. . . . 

"It is necessary to proceed more than twenty leagues in 
this beautiful country before we arrive at the Tire Nation,' 
which is situated on a little rising ground, from whence 
nothing but vast prairies are seen on all sides with some 
groves in various parts, and which nature seems to have 
produced only for the delight of the eyes or for the necessi- 
ties of man, who cannot do without wood. Here we arrived 
on the 13th of September, 1670, and were received by the 
concourse of the whole people. . . . 

Historic Spots in Wisconsin 


"The Tire Nation' bears this name erroneously, calling 
themselves Maskoutench, which signifies 'a land hare of 
trees' such as that which these people inhabit. ... It 
[the Mascouten community] is joined in the circle of the 
same barriers to another people named Oumami, which is 
one of the Illinois nations that separated itself from the 
others in order to dwell in these quarters. 

"They compose together more than three thousand 
souls, being able, each one, to furnish four hundred men to 
defend themselves against the Iroquois, who come even 
into these distant countries to seek them. . . ."^ 

Then follows a long description of the religious instruc- 
tion given to the people of the village, and of their deter- 
mination to build a reed chapel in which to establish a mis- 

Father Dablon makes further reference to the ^lascou- 
ten village in the Relation of 1671-72, from which we quote 
his reference to the work of Father Allouez as follows : 

"He found in the village of the Maskoutench, which is 
the Fire Nation, three peoples of different languages; he 
was received there as an angel from heaven, particularly l)y 
those who, having recently arrived from the quarters of the 
south, had never had knowledge of any Frenchman. They 
could not satisfy themselves with gazing on him; the days 
were too short to hear him speak of our mysteries, and it 
was necessary thus to employ entire nights. So favorabh^ a 
reception stayed the Father very willingly, and gave him the 
opportunity of baptising two sick persons. . . 

Dablon reported in 1675 that the Mascouten village had 
been increased to twenty thousand people by refugees horn 
other tribes. In 1676 the report stated that of this Karge 
population, only thirty-six adults and one hundred twenty- 
six children had accepted Christian baptism.^' It wonM 

3 Jes. Rel, Iv. 191-213. 

* Ibid., Iviii, 21-37. 

6 IHd., lix, 225; Ix, 207. 


W. A. Titus 

thus seem that the attitude of the community toward the 
new faith was one of tolerance rather than of conviction. 

It is not known when or under what circumstances this 
notable village finally disappeared. As stated before, it 
had always been a haven for the distressed of different tribes. 
There are casual accounts in the later records that indicate 
a bond of sympathy between the Mascouten and the Fox 
Indians; and it is possible that during the long strife between 
the Fox tribes and the French, a conflict in which fire and 
sword were used indiscriminately, the Mascouten village 
may have been burned and its people driven away. 

It is rather remarkable that no traces of this large and 
fairly well described aboriginal village have been discovered 
in modern times. It is clear that the Mascouten community 
was located on an eminence, that it was fortified by pali- 
sades, that it was about two miles (a *'short league" as the 
Relations have it) south of the Fox River, that it was a day's 
journey from the junction of the Fox and Wolf rivers, and 
that an unforested prairie surrounded it on all sides. The 
two maps of the period, as well as most descriptions written 
by the early missionaries, fix the site between Berlin and 
Princeton, probably much nearer to the former city. Dur- 
ing the long period of its occupancy by the savages, it would 
seem that refuse heaps must have accumulated in which 
were buried discarded weapons and implements, as well as 
the bones of animals used for food. An extensive burial 
ground must have developed in the immediate vicinity, 
and some of these evidences should persist to the present 
time, even though two and one-half centuries have elapsed 
since the planting of the Mission of St. Jacques. It is not 
impossible that, at some future time, excavation or acciden- 
tal discovery may once more fix definitely the site of this 
long-lost village of the Mascouten. If so, it will become a 
hallowed shrine for the antiquarian and the historian — an 
'^historic spot" indeed. 



The most striking fact in the history of Wisconsin during 
its first quarter-century of organized existence was the 
inpouring of thousands of white settlers intent on improving 
their condition in Hfe. In 1830 Wisconsin was practically an 
uninhabited wilderness. Ten years later there were thirty ^ 
thousand souls in the new Territory, and ten years later 
still the number had increased to three hundred thousand. 
The single decade ending in 1850 witnessed a greater pro- 
portionate increase in population than has the entire 
seventy-two-year period from 1850 to the present time. 

It is not our present purpose to dwell upon the conse- 
quences which followed in the train of this vast inrush of 
migration, but rather to suggest the significance of the 
documents which we are about to present. All of these 
thousands of early immigrants came into Wisconsin over a 
tedious and weary road. For the most part they came from 
the East — from the states of New York and New England, 
or from foreign countries. In 1850 one-third of the popula- 
tion of Wisconsin were of alien birth, and almost another 
third were natives of New York and New England. 
Whether of alien or native birth, they came to Wisconsin 
by much the same route, across New York and thence by 
water around the Lakes or by land along their southern side 
to Chicago and beyond. The extent of this westward migra- 
tion amazed the contemporary beholder, as it amazes today 
the student of our early history. From Buffalo, wrote an 
intelligent observer,^ not less than eighty thousand em- 
barked in the single year 1834. There could be no calcula- 
tion of the tide that poured by land along the south shore of 

> A. A. Parker, Trip to the West and Texas . . . in the Autumn and Winter of ISS^S 
(Concord, N. H., 1835), 22-23. 



Lake Erie, but one observer counted 250 wagons moving 
West in a single day. 

Most of these travelers kept no journals of their experi- 
ences, and the knowledge of them, if preserved at all, is 
handed down by way of hazy family tradition. Now and 
then such a journal was kept, however, and, more fortunate 
still, the record has been preserved to posterity. The records 
which follow are both by pioneers who bore a leading part 
in the work of founding the Wisconsin commonwealth. 
Both were kept by men of more than ordinary ability and 
literary capacity. Both records deal only with events on 
the way, and stop before Wisconsin is reached. One deals 
mainly with the water route, the other wholly with a trip by 
land. Both were written with no thought of reaching the 
public eye, and in each case the writer has now been buried 
almost half a century. 

Charles Minton Baker was a native of New York, but 
grew up in Vermont, and his life before coming West was 
chiefly identified with these two states. He practiced law 
several years and engaged for a time in mercantile business. 
In 1838 he came to Wisconsin and settled at Lake Geneva, 
becoming the first lawyer of Walworth County. He soon 
became prominent in civic affairs, serving in the territorial 
legislature, in the constitutional convention, and in other 
offices of trust and importance. In the convention he was 
chairman of the important committee on judiciary, and in 
1848 he bore the principal part in the work of revising the 
statutes of the new state. His influence upon the constitu- 
tional and legal development of Wisconsin was thus most 
notable. After a long life of useful labor he died at his home 
in Lake Geneva, February 5, 1872. 

George B. Smith, whose letters, written to a youthful 
friend, we present, was also a native of New York but grew 
to manhood in Ohio. In 1843, at the age of nineteen 
years, he came with his parents to Wisconsin. The next year 

Charles Minion Baker's Journal 


he settled in Madison, which remained his home until his 
death in 1879. He was elected to the convention of 1846, 
being the youngest member of that body. In later years he 
served as mayor of his city, representative of his district 
in the state legislature, attorney general of the state, and 
candidate of his party for the national Senate and House. 


Sept. 10, 1838, Left Hortonville loaded with the kindness of 
friends & neighbours & amidst their regrets & good wishes 
for Wisconsin. Arrived at Whitehall,^ that rocky, muddy, 
dirty, crooked, contracted, outlandish outlet of creation, 
tucked in between marshes & mountains, — the abomination 
of all travellers & my especial abhorrence. Made arrange- 
ments for the shipment of my goods to Buffalo. Met with 
sundry little annoyances & vexations. 

1 1 . Started from W'hall with my bitterest blessings resting upon 
it, not caring a copper whether I ever see it again. The roads 
tho' dry & dusty were so rough for some distance as con- 
tinually to remind me of that particular object of my anti- 
pathy, Whitehall. The day was fine, the roads dusty, but 
our ride on the whole was pleasant. Drove 27 miles & put 
up at a quiet, genteel country tavern on the sandy plains of 
Moreau. Passed thro' Fort Ann, Kingsbury, Sandy Hill & 
Glenns Falls. Felt as if I had fairly set forward on my jour- 
ney for the far West.^ 

12. Today travelled 34 miles passing thro' Wilton, Greenfield, 
1^ Galway, Broad Alban. Stopped for the night at Fundy's 

Bush Montgomery Co. The roads the greater part of the 
^ way very hilly but the country looked flourishing. 
Sept. 13. Stopped for the night at a Dutch tavern in iNIanheim 

on the Mohawk. Sheets & pillows so dirty that Mrs. B. 

would not sleep on them. Called at a Dutch tavern in the 

morning & the landlord a true Hollander "vondered vy we 

2 In northern Washington County, New York. 

'The author had this day crossed Saratoga County from northeast t«> southwr-*! 



vent so far for." In afternoon called at another Dutch inn 
& could get nothing but sour milk altho' it was milked in 
the morning & it has been a cool day. Have passed thro' 
Mayfield, Johnstown, Palatine, St. Johnsville, (late Oppen- 
heim) & Meridan into Manheim. Rained last night but was 
rather an advantage than a hindrance as it laid the dust. 
Country good & even excellent most of the way. Day rather 
fine & ride pleasant. 

14. Today have had a most delightful ride up the beautiful 
valley of the Mohawk with its broad & quiet stream, now 
presenting a long & silvery sheet clear as a mirror & now 
rippling over its pebbly bed. Here winds the canal thronged 
with boats laden with goods, emigrants & the produce of the 
interior, there stretches the turnpil^e over hill & dale or along 
the banks of the river, & beyond runs the railroad with its 
naked iron track lonely & deserted except now & then when 
the long train of cars come whirling & thundering along in 
sublime array & anon vanish in the distance. We saw all of 
these in full operation & to the best advantage today. Stopped 
at Utica about Ij^ hours. She is indeed exceedingly beautiful 
& well deserves the title of queen of the valley. Had my 
pail stolen from my waggon. Drove on six miles beyond 
Utica to New Hartford & put up for the night. When I 
pass Utica I always feel as if I had just struck off upon the 
mighty West, upon a country vast, rich, fertile & filled with 
unbounded resources & the m^ost untiring enterprise. Have 
travelled 32 miles. Passed thro' Herkimer, Frankfort & Utica. 

Sept. 15. Weather dry & warm & roads exceedingly dusty. 
Travelled 35 miles & put up for the Sabbath at Fayetteville a 
pleasant & flourishing village in Onondaga Co. Passed thro' 
Westmoreland, Verona, Durhamville, (leaving Canastota to 
the right) Lenox & Sullivan & Chittenango. At the latter 
place the Camel Leopards 15 feet high & carried on a waggon 
20 ft. high were being exhibited. Ctgo. is a flourishing little 
village lying in a narrow valley among the hills. Its inhabi- 
tants appear to be plain, industrious & hospitable. 

Sept. 16. Attended meeting at the Presbyterian Church in the 
forenoon. Found a little to my surprise one of my old class- 

Charles Minton Baker's Journal 


mates was pastor. He was formerly an exceedingly dull 
scholar & makes rather a dull preacher. His discourse was 
regular & properly divided, but it was rather heavy & com- 
monplace. Thought how many a blockhead is honored & 
reverenced in the world who if their real talents & knowledge 
were known would be despised. 

In p. M. Attended the Baptist Church which appears to 
be flourishing. 12 individuals were reed, into the church. 
Attended the celebration of our Lord's Supper. But how 
unworthy of so high a privilege. Blessed Jesus purify this . 
heart & make it wholly thine. 
Sept. 17. Took an early start from F'ville & drove to Syracuse 8 
miles where we breakfasted. A flourishing, active, business 
place. Took the road for Auburn over Onondaga Hill. 
Passed thro' Marcellus & Sennett leaving Skaneatiles to the 
left & Elbridge to the right. The country very hilly, but 
fertile & well cultivated. Soil rich loam, as indeed it has been 
most of the way since we left Saratoga Co. Travelled 33 
miles, — 25 to [from] Syracuse. Have found quarters in 
Auburn in a very neat, genteel, quiet house, which is more 
than can be said of many taverns we have found on the way. 
Auburn is a splendid village surpassing any thing as a village 
that I have ever seen. It must contain much public spirit & 
enterprise as well as wealth & taste. Has improved some since 
I was here last. 

Sept. 18. Drove to Seneca Falls by the way of the Free Bridge 
about 15 miles passing thro' Ments & Tyre. Found S. Falls 
but little improved since last here'* — looks dirty & ragged — 
but little neat or tasty about it. Was warmly welcomed by 
many friends & very hospitably entertained. Found brother 
T. well & glad to see us. Did some business but the individ- 
uals I most wanted to see were absent. The population I 
found greatly changed — much more alteration in the inhabi- 
tants than in the place. 

19. Left about 4 p. m. & drove 10 miles k put up for thr niglit 
at Mr. Wests, a private house in the Western part of Waterloo. 

^ Here the author had practiced law from 1829 to 18,S4. 



20. Travelled 35 miles to Lima & having arrived since dark can't 
speak as to the village. Have come today thro' Phelpstown, 
Hopewell, Canandaigua, East & West Bloomfield & Lima. A 
superb country, for the most part gently undulating & ex- 
tremely fertile. It is well cultivated & adorned with beautiful 
villages, farm houses & out buildings. The roads were excel- 
lent, much the finest we have had. Passed thro' Canandai- 
gua, that princely village, which for beautiful private resi- 
dences & as a rural village surpasses anything I have ever 
seen. Have found for the night very good accommodations. 
There is a flourishing literary institution at this place under 
the Methodist patronage. 

21. Drove to West Avon 7 ms. to Breakfast — there being two 
small villages of that name situated near together. At Avon 
is a mineral spring of some note. a mile beyond Avon 
passed the far famed Genessee River. It is rather smaller 
than I anticipated & at present quite low. A canal from 
Rochester is constructing up its Western side. Immediately 
after passing this river we came to the broad domains of Le 
Roy. He has about 1500 acres in one body & has sown this 
season several hundred acres of wheat. Passed thro' Cale- 
donia to Le Roy, a pleasant, flourishing, business like little 
village situated on Allans Cr. in the midst of a fine Country. 
The Country for the most of the way between G. River & 
Le Roy I did not like. It is very stony, rather dry & hard soil 
& timbered wholly with a growth of small oaks. From Le Roy 
to Batavia the country is superb & of almost unsurpassed 
fertility. Between lies the town of Stafford. Batavi[a] is a 
delightful village with one main st. broad & lined with trees 
& studded with beautiful villas & elegant mansions. It lies 
on the Tonawanda Creek is the county seat of Genessee Co. & 
is a flourishing village full of activitj^ & enterprise. We 
passed on 5j^ ms. to the Western part of Batavia where we 
have taken lodgings for the night. There is a railroad from 
B. to Rochester now in operation being a link in the great 
railroad from Albany to Buffalo. At B. we were misdirected 
& went out of our way about 2 miles over a bye & rough road 

Charles Minion Baker's Journal 


which like to have shaken the top off from my waggon. 
Travelled 38 miles. 
Sept. 22. Started at 4 o'clock this morning & have passed thro' 
Ten Broeck (Rushville) Clarence & Williamsville to Buffalo. 
Was not much pleased with the country. The fore part of the 
day it was low & sandy then the soil became thin & Rocky. 
It [is] rather a good country however from Williamsville to 
Buffalo a distance of 10 miles where the[y] have constructed 
a good McAdamized road. Along this road are settled many 
Swiss peasantry. They appear to be possessed of little 
enterprise, are filthy in their persons & dwellings & have 
little taste. They are building a spacious Church in Buffalo 
devoted I believe to Catholicism. We arrived at Buffalo 
at about 4 p. M. & drove directly thro' Main St. to the wharf 
having travelled today 34 miles. We were immediately beset 
with Steam Boat agents & in a short time engaged a passage 
on Board the Steam Boat Bunker Hill for Detroit. Being 
about the first on board we secured pretty good quarters. 
She is a large staunch built Boat with good Accommodations. 
She is to go out this evening or tomorrow morning. Buffalo is 
a flourishing place & doing an extensive business. She is 
destined to be a great place as the main outlet of the exten- 
sive & increasing trade of the upper lakes. Here is the start- 
ing point for the mighty West & from this point imagination 
stretches her wing over the great waters which reach nearly 
2000 miles into the interior & roll their billows along the most 
fertile shores on the Globe. Hail thou fair & fertile West, 
thou world of floods & forests of bright rivers green prairies, 
thou art henceforth my home. Great & magnificent West 
almost untouched & fresh as at thy first creation formed on a 
mighty scale & destined by thy Creator for events nu'ghty as 
thyself. Great West the pilgrims & the poor nuni's home, thou 
invitest to thy bosom to partake of tliy riches & thy bountv 
all alike of every rank of every clime & tongue. Onward be 
thy way & glorious be thy destiny. The distance from Tlnb- 
bardtontoBuffaloby theway wecameislbhmk in MS.l. From 
Whitehall to Buffalo we were 93 2 day-^ ^^^^^ rout & travelled 
at the rate of [blank in MS.] miles \)vv (hiy . 

396 Documents 

23 & 24. Last night about sundown the equinoctial storm which 
had been indicated all day by gusts & whirlwinds set in with a 
violent gale from the South West accompanied with rain. It 
blew almost a hurricane & completely broke down & stripped 
the top off from my waggon. One Steam Boat which put to 
sea was driven back & obliged to take shelter in the harbour. 
The wind & sea continued very high till Monday night when 
they abated. It is very tedious lying in port especially as we 
are thronged & our numbers are continually increasing from 
almost every tongue & nation the rich & poor, the civil & 
uncivil, the neat & quiet, the noisy & dirty, the pious & 
praying, the impious & swearing, the genteel & fashionable & 
gay, & the ragged & filthy & disgusting. Found all my goods 
which arrived today & shipped them on board the brig Nep- 
tune for Milwauky at $6 per hundred. Paid $9 per cwt. from 
Whitehall to Buffalo. 

25. Tuesday morning at about 9 o'clock a. m. we started from 
the port of Buffalo, with a fine breeze from the South West a 
clear sky & bright sun. In addition to the motley lot of 
passengers above described we are heavily loaded with horses 
& waggons, merchandise & baggage of all descriptions. The 
boat pitches some & there is considerable sea sickness on 
board. Mrs. B. & Mary are considerably affected & Charley 
& brother W. a little & I am a little qualmish. We ran be- 
tween 3 & 4 miles from land along the American Shore & the 
broad bosom of Ontario [Erie] with its watery & Cloudless 
horizon stretches to the North & West before us. Hail thou 
mighty flood type of Old Ocean, proudly thou bearest a 
thousand keels. How changed the scene which animates 
thee since thy waves bore the immortal Perry to battle & to 
victory. Then the strong battleship loomed upon thy waters, 
& the voice of the deep mouthed cannon echoed along 
thy shores & startled the timJd deer & awoke the peaceful 
inhabitant from his slumbers. Now thy bosom is whitened 
with the bright sails of Commerce & the keels of fifty steamers 
plough thy waters. 

Sept. 26. This morning found ourselves running along the Shores 
of the Ohio between Ashtabula & Cleaveland. Passed yester- 

Charles Minton Baker's Journal 


day Dunkirk the intended termination of the Hudson & Erie 
Rail Road, & last night we passed Erie the great port of 
Pennsylvania on the lakes. Here will terminate a railroad & 
canal when completed which will form a chain of com- 
m^unication thro' the State to Philadelphia. It is said that 
the railroad will bring Phida. nearer to lake Erie than New 
York now is but [the] canal rout is more circuitous. About 
6 o'clock this morning we entered the Cuyahoga river which 
forms the harbour of Cleaveland & passed up to the village. 
The harbour has a fine pier & two lighthouses; one on the ^ 
extremity of the pier & one on an eminence on the main land. 
Cleaveland is a handsome flourishing village situate on a plain 
of great fertility lying about 50 feet above the surface of the 
lake. The streets are broad straight & regular & the buildings 
good. Across the river is a small & flourishing village spring- 
ing up called Ohio City. Here terminates the great Ohio 
canal which stretches thro' the State via Columbus & ter- 
minates at Portsmouth. The country around Cleaveland is 
very fine. Laid at C. 6 hours & started out about 12 m. The 
shores become lower as we proceed onward & the timber is 
very tall & heavy. Put in at Sheffield at the mouth of Black 
river. The village is small & the country low. We also touch 
at Huron situate at the mouth of Huron river a small place 
built almost in a Swamp. The river is full of reeds & rushes 
on the side opposite the village is a wet marsh & the country 
around is very low nearly on a level with the lake. Beyond 
this place to Sandusky the Country continues very low. Saw 
the latter place at a distance to the left. From Huron we 
directed our course to Cunningham's island which brought 
our boat into the troughfs of the sea when we had vomiting 
enough. Not Esculapius & all his tribe could have produced 
so sudden & astonishing effect. Suffice it to say we had 
plenty of reeling & staggering to & fro & a most filthy & dis- 
gusting scene ensued in all parts of the boat. There wore 
many pale faces among the fair & some awfully wry faces 
among the men. Some hung over the sides of the vessel & 
some lay stretched on chairs & settees & on t lie deck fl«>ors 
in all manner of shapes & positions, whilst others were reeling 



& staggering wherever a lurch of the boat happened to throw 
them. It was curious to observe & contrast the glee & laugh- 
ter of some few reckless characters who were unaffected with 
the solemn woe begone countenances of those who were sick. 
Mrs. B. & Mary were very sick, Charley was much affected 
& I had some very unpleasant sensations. We were thus 
exposed to rolling of the waves about 2 hours when we run 
under Cunningham's island to wood which completely shel- 
tered us from the waves & the wind. This is a small island 
containing about 3000 acres is very fertile & settled by about 
80 inhabitants. After lying to about Ij^ hours we are again 
on our way direct to Detroit. The boat rides tolerably well. 
27. We are now befogged nearly opposite Fort Maiden in the 
Detroit river at about 2 o'clock in the morning awaiting for 
day light & I have arisen from inability to sleep more. The 
scene presented in the deck cabin among the deck passengers 
is worthy the pencil of Hogarth. Shades of night & my great 
grandmother. Here lie stretched in wild disorder & promiscu- 
ous confusion upon the floor like the slain on the field of battle 
in all shapes & positions both sexes & all ages, the man of gray 
hairs & the tender infant, the rosy cheeked damsel & the 
sturdy wood chopper. Here is crying & scolding & snoring & 
groaning. Some in births & some on chairs & trunks & settees 
& the rest on the floor. Some sitting & some lying, some dressed 
& some undressed, some covered & some uncovered & naked; 
some are stretched on beds, others on matrasses & cushions & 
cloaks & not a few are trying to find the soft side of the hard 
floor. Such is a steamboat life on lake Erie, a scene which I 
do not soon wish to experience again. At day light we 
weighed anchor & proceeded up the river. It is about two 
miles wide including the marshes which are principally on the 
Canada shore but narrows to % or 3^ a mile opposite Detroit. 
The lands adjacent to the river are low & heavily wooded. On 
the American side for some distance below Detroit are fre- 
quently seen the small white dwellings of the early French 
settlers. At length Detroit opened upon our view situated on 
a gentle rise of land elevated some 20 or 30 feet above the 
river. It is a very flourishing business place & for pleasant- 

Charles Minton Baker s Journal 


ness rather exceeded my expectations. We stopped at the 
Exchange & took breakfast & fell in with some old Brandon 
acquaintance. After refixing the top to my waggon we 
started from Detroit at past 12 m. & took the Ann Arbour & 
Ypsilanti road for Lima. Passed over the railroad at D. which 
is completed to the latter place & took nearly a Soth westerly 

For 5 miles from D. the Country is very low & the appear- 
ance gloomy & uninviting. It is principally covered with 
bushes interspersed with a few trees of large growth & the ^ 
roads being in many places for a long distance constructed 
of logs are rough almost beyond description. We passed the 
Ruse or Rogue a small creek about 11 miles from D. came 
thro' Dearborn ville about 10 miles out whe[re] the U. S. have 
erected a fine Arsenal. The land there is sandy & poor. We 
have travelled 20 miles & for almost the entire way the coun- 
try is a dead level, thinly settled, the land poorly cultivated. 
But at only 3 or 4 small spots on the way has it appeared at 
all pleasant or the soil decently cultivated. Water is scarce 
& poor, no mill privileges & but very little grain raised. The 
road is exceeding [rough .f^] almost the entire distance being 
perfect log-pike. Where we watered our horses at noon 3 
pailsful drained the well & the last looked as if it were taken 
from a mud hole. At one place we saw the geese & hogs con- 
tending with the utmost fury for a little water which had been 
left in a trough. Found many sick on the way & saw many 
pale faces. If this is a specimen of Michigan I wish to see no 
more of it. The soil for the most part is a mixture of black 
sand or muck with loam. It is very light & thin & rests on a 
bed of yellow sand. The country for the most part is covered 
with high bushes interspersed with a few trees or larger growth 
such as ash & elm for the most pal't with now & \hvn a beech 
& maple. 

Sept. 28. As we approach Ypsilanti the present termination of 
the railroad the country improves in ap])carancc. This phu e 
is 30 ms. from Detroit is flourishing & full of activity. It is 
rather pleasantly situated on the river Rasin. Here wo first 
begin to enter the Oak openings. They consist of white, black 

400 Documents 

or red & yellow oak with now & then a hickory. The trees are 
from 6 to 30 inches in diameter & thinly scattered. Bushes 
from one to ten feet high usually grow among the trees, but 
sometimes there are none when the woods present quite a 
beautiful & romantic appearance. Formerly these bushes 
were annually burnt by the Indians which probably occa- 
sioned what are now called grubs. These are turnip shaped 
bulbs or roots from which the bushes grow just under the 
surface of the ground & are destroyed only by grubbing or by 
plowing them off with a strong team of 4 or 5 yoke of oxen. 
From Ypsilanti we passed to Ann Arbour 10 ms. through a 
pretty good country considerably improved. The latter 
place is the co. seat & the site of the intended University of 
M. It is a handsome thriving village situated on or near the 
river Rasin. Thence passed on 12 miles to my brother in 
law's T. Cooper's in Lima. Found them well & much pleased 
to see us. The country here is pretty good. The soil is prin- 
cipally loam mixed sometimes with sand, sometimes with 
muck at others with clay. The country is suflSciently uneven. 
There are many low pieces of ground of from 5 to 30 acres 
covered with wild grass which the settlers mow for fodder. 
These they call wet prairies. 
Oct. 3. After spending 4 days very pleasantly with my sister & 
family resumed my journey about 10 a. m. Whilst at Lima 
went to Dexter 3)^ ms. a small thriving village founded by 
Judge Dexter also to Sylvan a good farming town. To day 
passed thro' Sylvan Grass Lake, the small village of Leona 
Jacksonburgh the Co. Seat of Jackson Co. situate on grand 
river & have put up for the night about 2 ms. West of the 
latter place. In Sylvan passed over the Short Hills which 
run thro' the State from North to South. To Jacksonburgh 
the surface of the country is quite uneven being full of small 
short hills & having many marshes & ponds of water. Part of 
the way the country is quite good but generally did not like 
it so well as about Lima. The soil is nearly the same as there. 
There is sufficiency of stone thus far altho' the Country is 
not stoney. The oak openings continue. Jacksonburgh is a 
very new & growing place & is the site chosen for the State 

Letters of George B, Smith 


penetentiary. They have a fine hewn stone Court house & 
are building a bank of the same material. They have a fine 
stone quarry in the neighbourhood. Where I put up it is 40 
ms. to Ann Arbour 80 to Detroit & 28 to Marshall. 


Dear J. Chicago, March 24th, 1843 

We arrived here yesterday all in good health and spirits. We 
have had a long & tedious journey. The weather has been extreme- 
ly cold most of the time since we left home, a circumstance by the 
way which has been greatly to our advantage — indeed but for this 
fact, it must have been impossible for us to have proceeded. We 
had as you know 2 double wagons, & two single carriages all of 
which were heavy loaded and if we had had the weather usual to 
this season of the year the roads would have been soft & we would 
have been forced to have sold many of our things. It was unwise 
in us to have started as we did — but the unprecedented length 
of the cold weather let us out. It commenced snowing two or 
three days after we left; and continued to snow for several days. 
For this reason the roads were heavy for a few days, & we made 
but slow progress each day — however we got along as you see 
very well & we are here in good time. We were 16 days on the 

I will not attempt to give you a detailed history of our daily 
life on the way, or any kind of a description of the country or 
villages through which we have passed. The weather has been 
so cold & some of the time so blustering, that I have not paid 
much attention to the country. I have looked only to the road & 
I assure you it has oftentimes required some care to kvep that. 
We passed through Michigan and one corner of Indiana, & I 
cannot tell how the country would look in its summer garments, 
but I assure you it looks uncomfortable enough in its winter robes 
— but I do not intend to describe to you the country — indeed for 
the reasons I have stated — my description wouhi be but poor if I 

I will however give you a slight idea of tlie ])e(>])le & a few 
miles of the country through Indiana. I do this because liere for 

^ These letters were written to his friend James Sargent. 


certain reasons I noticed the country & scrutenised the people 
with more minuteness than elsewhere on my route. The section 
of Indiana through which we passed is regard [ed] in some respects 
a dangerous route. I mean that portion of it say 40 miles the 
other side of Michigan City. This city is about 40 miles from 

Somewhere in the neighborhood alluded to lives the notorious 
Bill Lathy [?] formerly of Lathys corners, in Summit Co. & he is 
supposed to be the head & captain of a gang of horse thieves & 
counterfeiters — & hereabouts they live. We were warned to be 
on our guard in passing through this country. We had 6 very 
fine horses & some valuables besides — which under existing cir- 
cumstances we could not well afford to loose. We tried to pass 
this infested district in one day, but the roads were so heavy from 
the depth of snow that night overtook us midway the distance, & 
we were forced to stop at what we had been told was a kind of 
headquarters for the scamps thereabouts. This was a low rakish 
dirty looking building, with a rickety sign in front on which was 
lettered, "Tavern." We drove up to the door, & out came Mr. 
Landlord. I wish you could have seen him^ — with his red bushy 
hair — his big bloated face & this by bad whiskey — which abounds 
in this neighborhood, & which is commonly called "red eye," 
literally dripping from his eyes — which were "red eyes" in truth. 
He was indifferently dressed yet fantastically, he had on a bright 
red vest much worn, a pair of green & red striped pantaloons and 
a big dirty green beige [word illegible] tied by the ends in front, 
& right at his heels were two big bull dogs that looked fierce & 
ugly enough — but not so bad as their master. 

He said we could stay — he "sposed" whereupon we com- 
menced to unload ourselves, & the little portable traps that we 
took in with us nightly when we stopped. We hardly commenced 
this unloading process when out came 5 or 6 of "Mine Hosts" 
croneys. I will not undertake to describe these characters to 
you. I will say however, that they reminded me of as many big 
black snakes, in a kind of half torpid state. Each man looked his 
part well. Of course we took them to be horse thieves, & our fears 
were excited that they might have been promoted to the higher 

Letters of George B, Smith 


degrees of crime for they certainly looked as if they were ripe for 
"treason stratagem & murder." 

We would have gladly left this place, but stay we must. We 
determined therefore to pass a sleepless night in that house, & we 
did. At first they would have placed us in rooms distant from 
each other, but we declined this arrangement & succeeded in 
getting two rooms adjoining — Father & Mother & Charles & 
Lafayette occupied one room & Parsons & I another. Our room 
looked out to the barn. We each had a big hickory cane & a 
Pistol; we watched the barn & listened intently all the niglit long 
in constant fear that some evil was to befall us. Once or twice 
during the night we thought we heard some unusual stir in the 
house & about the barn — but the morning and a bright beautiful 
cold morning it was — found us as safe from harm as if we had 
been lodged in a Princely Palace — save that we were wearied 
from watching. Our horses were all safe & they had been well 
cared for. A comfortable breakfast was prepared for us and about 
9 A. M. we left the place where our fears had been so excited & 
I must say that all of the inmates of the house looked better to us 
than they did the night before. I have thought of the matter 
since, & I must do those rough fellows the justice to say that in 
estimating them we rather reasoned from our fears — they were 
rough looking men to be sure & what we heard excited our fears & 
we looked at these men with a distorted vision — at all events they 
did not molest us & in the morning they all seemed kind & oblig- 
ing & the landlord assisted us with a will & a grace that wouM 
have done honor to "Mine Host" of a more elegant establishment . 

We left them there thankful at least that our horses had n^t 
been stolen & that we had been permitted to depart in peace. 

The country for about 20 miles either side of Michigan City 
looked to me rough & uninviting, the people all along the way 
looked rough & inhospitable, and I am inclined to think that this 
is really the true character of the country & the peoph* in this 
vicinity. We arrived at Michigan City just at dusk. I will tt^ll 
you about this place — a few words in my next. 
Dear J.— Chicago, March -2Sth. 

I said in my last that I would tell you in a few words about 
Michigan City & a few words will tell all about it. This is the 



only point that Indiana has on Lake Michigan, and if the harbor 
was at all good or could conveniently be made so, it would be in 
time a very important point, & something of a city but the 
harbor is full of sand, and already a large amount of money has 
been expended here by the Government to remove the sand & 
make a harbor but the most sanguine are disheartened at the 
prospect, for the sand drifts in about as fast as they can take it 
out. The whole city looks just as if the houses had been built 
somewhere else & moved here — & indeed this is true of many of 
them. A rival city was started a few miles from here in 1836, it 
busted & the houses many of them have been removed here. 

The tavern house where we are stopping a large wood building 
was so moved, & it now stands on blocks imbedded in the sand. 
The city is on a sand Bank. There may be 12 or 15 hundred 
people here, & in the summer I should think most of their time 
would be occupied in keeping the sand out of their eyes. In short 
it is a cheerless dillapidated looking place, & I would rather live 
anywhere else than here. We got there in the evening at 
dusk & left at daylight the next morning, & right glad I was to 
get away. Still there will always be a "City" there & many a 
poor devil will be dumped into the sand after he has shuffled off 
his mortal coil. 

The Road from Michigan City to Chicago hugs very close to 
the shore of the head of Lake Michigan & is consequently very 
sandy, but just now in its frozen state the road is good. The 
country along the route looks barren enough, & yet people have 
settled here & opened farms, & seem quite contented. It is well 
we do not all think alike. I would rather not live at all than to be 
obliged to spend my allotted days in this region, at least it seems 
so to me now. 

This day we got within six or 7 miles of Chicago. Here Father 
found an old acquaintance keeping tavern in a long double log 
house & everything was very comfortable about it — the name I 
have forgotten, but as Toots says "its no consequence." Here we 
staid all night, all the next day & night, for the wind blew so that 
we could not proceed. 

We kept close to the shore of the lake quite into Chicago & 
most of the way it is prairie. To the left of us which is south, this 

Letters of George B, Smith 


[is] one vast sea of Prairie, as they say here we were out of site of 
land — and withall it is very low, not much above the level of the 
Lake — but in the summer when the grass is green & the flowers 
are in bloom, it must look beautiful for they tell me that in the 
summer the prairie is literally covered with beautiful flowers of 
many varieties — but now it looks cheerless & gloomy enough & 
here I would not stay. 

We arrived in this city March 23d & we are stopping at the 
American Temperance House kept by C. W. Cook. He formerly 
kept the Cleveland House at Cleveland, where I boarded with 
him. The weather is still cold & sleighing good the snow is so ' 
deep between here & Wisconsin that we cannot proceed. We 
may stay here 3 or 4 weeks — at all events I will write you again 
in a few days, when I will tell you about this ''far off" City. 

Dear J. — Chicago April— 1843 

I promised in my last to tell you about this City. There is a 
wide expanse of sparsely settled country between us, which on 
the whole is capable of maintaining a dense & prosperous popula- 
tion, and all around Chicago there is a fine but yet uncultivated 
country, and yet Chicago is a city now much larger than Cleve- 
land, with a business many fold greater than is done at that 
place. It is situated just at the head of Lake Michigan & on 
ground that seems scarcely above the lake, and now that spring 
begins to unfold its beauties, and Jack frost is leaving for parts 
unknown, we begin to feel as well as see that this great city in 
embrio is in a mud hole. The name denotes either a mud hole or 
sckunks den & I am not certain which. The Indians are remark- 
ably cute in giving the right name to anything. Nevertheless it 
is a city — a thriving, prosperous busy city — it is just beginning 
to recover from the effect of the bubble of 1836 — at which time 
the prices of property were perfectly fabulous but the traces of 
those days are fast passing away & a healthy & profitable state of 
things reigns here instead. The prices of property are not high 
for the business advantages and future prospects of the place, for 
notwithstanding it is in the mud it must from its very situation b(^ 
in time a City of very considerable business & largo ])opulation. 



There are men here, sensible reflecting men who affect to 
believe that in a few years it will be one of the great citys of the 
Union. They are men who have an abiding faith in the growth 
& prosperity of what they call the "Great Northwest." You 
never heard much about it nor I either until now, and they regard 
Chicago as the Great Commercial Center of the Great West — 
perhaps they are right. We shall see. 

Father has rented a house on Clark St not far from the main 
st of the city which is Water St,^ & we shall stay here 3 or 4 weeks 
until the roads become settled so that we can jog on to South- 
port^ Racine Co Wisconsin our place of destination. 

I would like to stop here, but Father is not so enclined, and 
I must not leave him yet — his health is improving, still he is but 
the wreck of a man, & I must not leave him. My health has 
greatly improved since I left home, but still it is poorly & I am 
not more able to apply myself to my profession, & I have fears 
that I may never be able to do so, but I will not dwell upon a 
subject so painful to me & in no wise interesting to you. I have 

written today to E & enclose the same to you please 

see that it is delivered. I shall hereafter write directly to E . 

I will write again in few days. 

Dear J. — Chicago April 1843 

We are still here waiting for the snow to go off & the roads 
to settle, so that we can move on to Wisconsin. The snow is 
slowly melting away but the roads are horrid, even the streets of 
Chicago are almost impassible. Our people are all well but we 
are all impatient to leave here & be settled in our future home. 

My health I think is improving, and it has been from the day 
I left. I now look forward with some hope of being able to per- 
form a part in the great world, for a while I feared that my time 
was short, then my ambition was correspondingly weak, but now 
a light glimmers in the future & hope revives. I pray that it 
may not be a delusion. 

While waiting here we have but little to do. I have nothing 
to do, but read the newspapers. J. Y. Sanger you may remember 

« This was South Water Street, then the business center of Chicago. 
^ Modem Kenosha. 

Letters of George B, Smith 


him has a hat & cap store here, & he is also interested in business 
in Milwaukee Wisconsin. I repair to his store every day to read 
the newspapers of that state, several of which he takes. I feel 
more interest in these papers, because Wisconsin is to be my 
future home, and besides there is a very interesting contest going 
on there just now between the Gov. James D. Doty, and the 
Legislature. The Legislature & the people all seem to be against 
Doty, but Doty seems to be ahead. 

The difficulty as I gather it is this — The Legislature met 
without being called by the Gov. & he refused to cooperate with 
them, because he says that Congress has not made an appropria- 
tion for that purpose. The Legislature undertook to go on with- 
out him, & although almost every member is against the Gov. 
they make very bad work in their opposition — somehow he con- 
trives to head them at every turn. There is great excitement there 
& some here about it. I cannot learn enough to decide which is 
right, though I can clearly see that the Gov is ahead. All of the 
papers that I read are against the Governor & they abuse him 
roundly, & I hear that the people are against him too, but I don't 
know how that is. There is no party politics in the matter that 
I can learn, but it is Doty and anti Doty, & Doty is ahead. I 
will keep track of the fight & tell you how it comes out. 



I would like to have you give me all the information possible in 
regard to the different visits of Abraham Lincoln to Milwaukee. I under- 
stand he made one or two speeches in Milwaukee and I would like to 
have you give me all the particulars pertaining to them. 

W. W. Lange, Milwaukee 

There is a strongly supported tradition that Lincoln went to 
Port Washington at a very early day, and planned to settle there. 
At that time he must have passed through Milwaukee. See an 
article by Julius Olson in Wisconsin Magazine of History, iv, 

In 1859 Lincoln spoke at the state fair on September 30. See 
same article, and Wis. Hist. Colls, xiv, 134-135. TheMilwaukee 
Sentinel for Friday, September 30, 1859 announced: "The Pro- 
gramme of ToDay At 10 o'clock today Hon. Abra'm Lincoln of 
Illinois will deliver the Annual Address before the State Agri- 
cultural Society on the Fair Grounds. Immediately after the 
address the awards of premiums will be announced." Then were to 
follow a hook and ladder company contest and other attractions. 
It is stated in the Sentinel that the day was windy and dusty, and 
that the crowd was not as large as it would have been but for the 
disagreeable weather. The speaker was delayed, and did not 
begin his address until nearly noon. 

The address is printed in the Sentinel for October 1, 1859. It 
is also in Transactions of the Wisconsin Agricultural Society for 
1858-59, 287-299. It was in no sense a political address, but was 
concerned with the development of agriculture, and a discussion 
of the relation of labor to capital and the importance of education 
to labor. 

So far as we can ascertain, these were Lincoln's only visits to 

When Did the Use of Botes and Arrows Cease? 409 


The finding, this summer, of a flint arrow-head at the north end 
of the Dells of the Wisconsin River raised the question of its probable 
age. Some of the residents state that a great Indian battle occurred 
at the spot where the arrow-head was found, sometime about 1820, 
and suggested that it was a relic of that fight; others, however, did not 
believe that bows and arrows were used in that part of the country 
after about 1800, and thought it antedated that year. 

This is a question to which I am wondering whether an authorita- 
tive answer can be given. Were not firearms in general use among the 
Indians of central Wisconsin after the beginning of the nineteenth 

J. M. W. Pratt, Milwaukee 

Wisconsin Indians began to obtain guns from the French as 
early as 1670, but they by no means abandoned their primitive 
weapons for firearms. Many settlers as late as the 1840's testify 
to having seen the tribesmen using bows and arrows. The guns 
were poor, made for the trade, easily got out of order, and the 
Indians themselves could not repair them. Every agency main- 
tained a blacksmith, whose chief work was the repairing of Indian 
guns. Thus bows and arrows were much used for hunting, and 
part of an Indian boy's education was the accurate shooting of 
small game with arrows. This answers your question concerning 
the modern use of arrow-heads. 

We have no tradition of an Indian battle at the Dells in 1820. 
The Wisconsin River Indians were in peaceful relations with one 
another. The Chippewa occasionally came down the stream, but 
its lower waters were Menominee territory and so far as we know 
there were no hostilities between these tribes except at a much 
earlier period. 


I have heard different explanations of the meaning of the name 
"Winnebago." Please give me your definition. 

Does **Neenah" mean "laughing water," or "running water"? 
I have heard that "Minnehaha" means "laughing water." 

John P. Shiells, Xeenah 

The word "Winnebago" was the name of an Indian tribe 
whose early habitat was around the lake of that name. The word 
really means "filthy" or "ill-smelling." It did not moan that tliis 


The Question Box 

tribe was more uncleanly than their neighbors, but that they 
lived in a land of ill-smelling waters. The Indians used the same 
word for the salt water of the sea. 

"Neenah" means "water" only, nothing more. That is the 
Winnebago term. It is said that an early traveler pointing to 
the stream asked an Indian what was its name. The Indian 
thought he meant the element water, and said, "Neenah." The 
traveler thought it was the Indian name of Fox River. 

"Minnehaha" is supposed to mean "laughing water." 
"Minne" is the same word in Sioux as "neenah" in Winnebago. 


I am preparing a paper on the life of Waubunsie, chief of the Pota- 
watomi, and desire all the information I can gain concerning him. We 
own property on a creek named for Waubunsie, as he used it as a favor- 
ite camping ground while traveling along Fox River, into which the 
creek empties. We have built a cottage and fixed up a small park here, 
and are making a collection of Indian relics to keep in the cottage, which 
we have named Waubunsie Lodge. 

Mrs. R. H. Johnston, Oswego ^ III, 

We find the following concerning the career of Chief Wau- 

His name was spelled in several ways : Waubunsee, Wauban- 
sia, Waupan-eh-see, Waubunsie, and so forth. He signed the 
treaties of 1826, 1828, and 1829, as well as that of 1814 after the 
battle of the Thames, in which he was engaged on the British 
side. He was always a friend of the whites; nevertheless he is 
said to have urged that his tribe support Black Hawk in 1832, 
but was overruled {Wis. Hist. Colls, vii, 419). A letter from a 
man named McCarty says (Draper MSS. 9YY69) that he and 
his brother founded Aurora in 1836, although they owned the 
land as early as 1834. Waubunsee was head chief of the tribe on 
Fox River and spent his summers there, removing to the reserve 
on Kankakee River in the winter. He ultimately removed to 
Kansas, where he died. 

McKenney and Hall, History of the Indian Tribes (Phila., 
1855), iii, 31-35, say he was head war chief of the Prairie band 
of Potawatomi, residing originally on Kankakee River. Though 
a warrior of daring and enterprise, he was cool and sagacious, and 

Early Pierce County 


a bold orator. An anecdote is told of his feud with the Osages 
who had slain one of his friends. He finally met a party of that 
tribe near an American fort. The Osages trusted to the protec- 
tion of the garrison, but Waubunsee scaled the fort at night, 
despatched a sleeping Osage, tore the scalp from his head, and 
leaped the wall just as the alarm was given. By sunrise he and 
his band were far away. At the treaty of the Wabash in 1826, 
near Huntington, Waubunsee was accidentally wounded by a 
friend in a drunken frolic. The agent Tipton kept Waubunsee 
with him until he w^as cured. In the spring Waubunsee paid a 
visit of ceremony to thank the agent for his kindness. The latter 
tried to reconcile the chief with his quondam friend. Waubunsee 
said, "You may tell him to come back. A man that will run off 
like a dog with his tail down for fear of death is not worth killing. 
I will not hurt him." 

He was at the treaty of Chicago in 1833, when the tribe sold 
all their lands. In 1835 he visited Washington to see his "great 
father," the president. He went West about 1836, and was 
living in 1838 at Council Bluffs. Later he removed to Kansas. 


Our school would like to know a few things about early Pierce 
County. What Indian tribes lived here.'^ Were there any trading posts 
in the county; if so, where? Who was the first white visitor to this 
vicinity? How did Maiden Rock get its name? Any other information 
about our early history will be appreciated. 

Margaret Henn, Maiden Rock 

Pierce County is the scene of some of the most interesting 
historical events in western Wisconsin. It was the home of the 
Sioux tribe of Indians, or more properly the Dakota division of 
the great Siouan family. The Dakota were divided into the Sioux 
of the Plains, and those of the River. Those who occupied 
Pierce County were of the latter division. Their territory was 
encroached upon by the Chippewa from Lake Superior, and a 
state of war was almost continuous between these two great tribes 
until 1837, when the Sioux ceded all their lands on the east bank 
of the Mississippi and withdrew, the next year, to the west bank. 
The site of Prescott is the traditional site of a ^M'cal \y,\\[\c lit worn 

412 The Question Box 

the Sioux and the Chippewa, in which the latter were victorious, 
carrying off over three hundred scalps. 

The legend of Maiden Rock is very old, and has many forms. 
The sim.plest form is told by Bunnell, in Winona and Its Environs. 
A maiden daughter of Wabasha, great chief who lived at Winona, 
Minnesota, was named Wee-no-nah, or eldest daughter. She had 
a young lover of her tribe, whom she wished to marry, but her 
parents desired to give her hand to an older, experienced warrior 
who had many Chippewa scalps to his credit. Weenonah 
objected and was separated from her young lover. One day, on a 
hunting expedition near Lake Pepin, the older lover pressed his 
suit. Again refusing, she bounded away from her friends and 
family, rushed to the height of a great rock, and recounting her 
sorrows and her undying love for her first lover, threw herself 
over the cliff and perished. We have never heard of any other site 
for this legend than the so-called Maiden Rock bluff, on the east 
bank of Lake Pepin. 

The question of early posts in your vicinity is an interesting 
and a difficult one. In the Wisconsin Historical Society Pro- 
ceedings, 1915, 117-123, you will find this subject discussed. Fort 
St. Antoine, where Perrot took possession in 1689 of the Sioux 
country, is thought to have been just below Stockholm in Pepin 
County. Fort Beauharnois was built in 1727 opposite Maiden 
Rock, near Frontenac, Minnesota. If you will get Wis. Hist. 
Colls., xvii, 22-28, you will find an interesting description of this 
post, and of the celebration with fireworks which terrified the 
Indians. Fort St. Pierre was also built in your vicinity ; just where 
has not been determined. These were all official French forts, 
but they were also trading posts. Carver mentions Fort St. 
Pierre in his journey of 1766 — the first Englishman in Pierce 

The first white men to pass up the river were Father Louis 
Hennepin and two French companions, Antoine du Gay and 
Michel Accault, in the year 1680. They were taken prisoners by a 
band of Sioux. Daniel Duluth came from Lake Superior down 
the St. Croix, rescued them, and took them east over the Wiscon- 
sin-Fox route to Green Bay. If you have Kellogg, Early Narra- 
tives of the Northwest, you can read Duluth's own account of this 

The Horicon Marsh 


adventure. After this, French travelers came and went con- 
stantly until the downfall of New France after Montcalm's 
defeat by Wolfe near Quebec in 1759. Then English traders 
came in, and occupied this region until after the War of 1812. 
Lieut. Zebulon M. Pike in 1805 carried the first United States 
flag along the upper Mississippi. In 1819 a post was built at 
Fort Snelling, and in 1827 a group of officers at the fort formed 
a company to buy the land at the mouth of the St. Croix. This 
was Indian land, so they could not obtain it until after the treaty 
of 1837. 

St. Croix County was organized in 1840, and embraced what 
is now Pierce County. In 1849 a town called Elizabeth was laid 
off, comprising most of what is now Pierce County. This was 
perhaps named for Eliza Shazer, thought to be the first white 
child of American parents born in the present Pierce County. 
In 1853 Pierce County was erected and named for the president 
of the United States, Franklin Pierce. The first school was 
opened in 1851. 


We are making a study of the Horicon Marsh, and want information 
upon the subject. If you have any, would you kindly send it so we may 
use it in our high school work? 

Adeline Kross, Horicon 

This region was at first known as the Winnebago Marsh, and 
the town at its southern end was called Hubbard's town, for 
Governor Hubbard of Vermont, who had bought the land there. 
Governor Hubbard sold the land to Preston and Larrabee, who in 

1845 had a dam begun at this place. This dam was completed in 

1846 by Martin Rich from Vermont, who suggested the name 
Horicon for the slowly rising lake. The dam was originally built 
for water-power purposes, but soon the lake was utilized for the 
transport of timber to run from Chester down the Rock to Janos- 
ville and Rockford. In 1867 a decision of the supreme court 
abolished the dam, and Horicon Lake became Horicon Marsh. 
Soon the hunting and shooting clubs began to utilize this marsh. 
The Diana Shooting Club in 1883 leased ten thousand acres for 
twenty-five years. The later history covers an attempt to drain 


The Question Box 

the marsh by the Rock River Valley Company, organized in 


Our class in the Milwaukee State Normal School is studying the 
geography of Wisconsin, and is desirous of knowing what the Welsh 
people brought to Wisconsin. We know that the German people brought 
brewing and the sugar-beet industry, but we have been unable to find 
what the Welsh people brought. 

Ellen C. Williams, Milwaukee 

The Welsh in Wisconsin have been for the greater part 
farmers, and have contributed by their industry and thrift to 
building up the agricultural interests of the state. In som^e 
portions, such as Racine and Waukesha counties, they have con- 
tributed to stock breeding and the dairy interests. In the western 
part of the state some Welshmen were miners, and others engaged 
in the manufacture of shot. See Wis. Hist. Colls., xiii, 357-360. 
Their best contributions to our Wisconsin life have been immate- 
rial rather than material. The sober, religious character of many 
of the Welsh, their devotion to church life, especially their inter- 
est in church and other music, have been of benefit to the higher 
life of the state. 

A Welsh Musical Union was organized in 1865, according to 
an account published March 3, 1869, in the Racine Journal. Each 
year the Welsh people held their musical convention, a great fes- 
tival in itself. The Union also promoted church music and other 
forms. They offered prizes for musical compositions — a most 
unusual thing in the early history of the state, as it is still unusual. 

The Welsh people, especially the rural folk, lived lives of 
great frugality, industry, and self-sacrifice, so that we may per- 
haps look upon their church and community singing as their 
characteristic form of recreation, and it was a most admirable 


I would like to know to what nationality the Stockbridges of Wis- 
consin belong, and where they came from. Are they a mixed race of 
people? H. C. Keck, Welcomey Minn. 

The Stockbridge Indians originally came from Stockbridge, 
Massachusetts, where a mission for Indians was established early 

The Story of the Stockbridges 


in the eighteenth century and a school maintained for the educa- 
tion of Indian boys. The tribe that formed this mission was a 
branch of the Mahican or Mohegan tribe, called by the Dutch 
the "River Indians," because they dwelt along the Hudson River. 
That portion of the tribe living in the Housatonic Valley was 
the part that removed to Stockbridge, where in time they became 
known as the Stockbridge Indians. They always called them- 
selves Mo-he-con-new, or Mohegan, and when John Metoxen, 
their chief, died in Wisconsin, he was spoken of as the "last of 
the Mohicans." 

In the course of their removals, first to New York after the 
American Revolution, then to Wisconsin about 1825, remnants 
of other tribes became mingled with the Stockbridges, notably 
the Munsee, the Wolf clan of the Delaware tribe. These two 
bands came together to Wisconsin, most of them from Stock- 
bridge, near Oneida, New York. One portion of the tribe had in 
1818 removed to White River, Indiana, among some of the Dela- 
ware. Upon arrival there, they found the land had been ceded 
to the United States; so after a few years they joined their breth- 
ren in Wisconsin. Their first home was at Statesburgh, now South 
Kaukauna, on Fox River. In 1832 they ceded this region for a 
reservation on the eastern shore of Lake Winnebago, and founded 
there a new Stockbridge. The Brothertown Indians lived with 
the Stockbridges at this place. They were kindred tribes, but in 
reality the small remnants of southern New England tribes — the 
Pequot, Montauk, Narragansett, and so forth, that gathered 
at a mission in New York and took the title of Brothertowns. 
These Indians have become citizens, and their descendants still 
live in Calumet County. The Stockbridges, however, declined 
in 1846 the offer of citizenship, and in 1852 ceded their lands in 
Calumet County for a reservation near the INIenominee in 
Shawano County. There they and the Munsee still live: prac- 
tically all of them, however, have become citizens and accepted 
lands in allotment. 


The Question Box 


Please send me any information you may have on the early history 
of Rhinelander and Oneida County. 

Miss B. Simmons, Rhinelander 

Your community is so new that your local history may be 
obtained from persons now living in it. It would be wise to 
gather in the reminiscences of the pioneers before it is too late. 

Oneida County was organized in 1885 from Lincoln County. 
Consult Wisconsin Historical Society Proceedings, 1908, on Oneida 
County organization and the changes in its boundary. This 
region had been for hundreds of years the home of the Indians, 
those of the Chippewa tribe having lived there from the seven- 
teenth century. Wis. Hist. Colls, xix, 202, gives an account of a fur 
trader among these Indians in 1804. All these traders were 
French-Canadians, who came and went and left little trace, yet 
they may be called the first white men in Oneida County. 

Rhinelander was, like most northern Wisconsin towns, the 
child of the railway. The Milwaukee, Lake Shore & Western 
Railway was organized about 1870; it was foreclosed under a 
mortgage in 1875 and bought in by a group of New York capital- 
ists headed by Mr. F. W. Rhinelander. Mr. Rhinelander had 
great faith in the future possibilities and present resources of 
northern Wisconsin. His company began building north. By 
1882 the railway had reached Summit Lake, with the line graded 
to Pelican Lake. By 1883 the road had been pushed beyond 
Pelican Lake, with a spur 15.7 miles long from Monico to the 
mouth of Pelican River, which was chosen by the president of 
the road as the site to which he gave his own name. Whatever 
settlement had been there before was called Pelican Station. 
Settlers came in so rapidly that by 1890 there were 2658 persons 
in the village of Rhinelander. The Milwaukee, Lake Shore & 
Western Railway sold to the Chicago & Northwestern in 1893, 
and after that the Rhinelander family was no longer connected 
with this region. The Rhinelander family is one of the old land- 
holding families of New York City. The first in America (1686) 
was Philip Jacob Rhinelander, who was exiled from France by the 
revocation of the Edict of Nantes — that is, in the dispersion of 

The Career of Marinette 


the Huguenots. The family home was on the Rhine, but in 
territory which was a part of France. Philip Jacob settled at 
New Rochelle, New York, and there died in 1737. His son Wil- 
liam removed to New York City and was buried in Trinity church- 
yard in 1777. His landed property has been kept together as 
the Rhinelander estate and has become very valuable. William's 
son WilHam II bought as a sugar house a building which was 
used as a prison for Americans during the Revolution. This 
historic monument known as Rhinelander's Sugar House existed 
until 1892. 

William Rhinelander II (1753-1825) had two sons, William 
C. (1790-1876) and Frederick Wilham. The latter had a son 
and a grandson of the same name. President Rhinelander of the 
Milwaukee, Lake Shore & Western was either the second or the 
third of the name. The family is now represented by Philip, 
bishop of the Episcopal Church. 


We have had several inquiries lately about the meaning of the name 
of our city, Marinette. As far as our records show, the name Marinette 
had no special significance except as it was the name of the Menominee 
Indian girl who married John Jacobs, and who was well known in early 
days for her business ability. Have you any further information as to 
the meaning of the name? 

Gladys M. Andrews, Marinelte 

In the Patrick Papers we find a manuscript "History of 
Marinette" by Dr. John J. Sherman, in which the author says 
that Marinette Jacobs, from whom the town takes its name, 
was born in 1793 at Post Lake, the source of Post River, one of 
the principal tributaries of the Peshtigo River. She was a daugh- 
ter of a Chippewa woman and a Frenchman named Chevalier, of 
whom but little is known. 

From our records we can add something alnnit Marinette's 
father. His name was Barthelemy Chevalier, and lie was for 
some time a resident of Green Bay. After his death his widow 
lived at this place. See Wis. Hist. Colls., x, 138. Sec also 
baptismal record of Marinette's older sister in U is. Illsf. ToZ/.s.. 
xix, 85. The name Marinette was probably an abbreviation of 
Marie Antoinette. It is quite possible that Chcvabt r may havr 


The Question Box 

named his little daughter for the unfortunate French queen who 
was guillotined the year of her birth. 

Further information from Dr. Sherman is as follows: Mari- 
nette was regularly married to John B. Jacobs, to whom she bore 
several children and with whom she lived on this river for some 
time previous to 1822, at about which time he left the river. In 
the Wis. Hist. Colls, you will find more about Jacobs. He was an 
EngHshman who came out to Green Bay from Canada — a man 
of good education and family but sadly addicted to liquor. He 
taught school awhile at Green Bay, and Marinette may have 
been one of his pupils. At any rate he loved her, and some of his 
unpublished letters in our manuscripts show a deep interest in 
her welfare and that of his children. He went back to Canada 
to obtain an inheritance left him by a brother. So far as known, 
he never returned to Wisconsin. 

Continuing Sherman's history, we find that Marinette re- 
mained on the river with William Farns worth, to whom she bore 
several children and who in turn left her and settled at Sheboygan. 
He was lost on the Lady Elgin in 1860. 

Marinette should not be morally blamed for her relations with 
Farnsworth, as those were the customs of the times and the 
people among whom she grew up. You will find a biography of 
Farnsworth in Wis. Hist. Colls., ix, 397-400. "The old residence 
of Marinette," Sherman says, "is still standing and is the property 
of our chief officer, F. Carney Esq. Marinette lived there with 
her children (among them were Mrs. Charles McLeod, John B. 
Jacobs, and George P. Farnsworth of Green Bay) devoting the 
latter part of her life to deeds of benevolence and devotion until 
she arrived at the ripe age of threescore and twelve, when she 
quietly passed away on the third of June, 1865. Her remains 
were first interred in the enclosure near the house where the 
family had a sort of temporary vault, over which was erected a 
building composed of cedar logs." 


I have noticed the inquiry of Mr. Harry F. WiHiams of 
Neenah^ as to the meaning of the name "Neenah." It is to he 
observed that we all are inclined loosely to accept almost any 
interpretation of the Indian names which do so abound in ^Yiscon- 
sin, without investigation at the source, which is in this case the 
aboriginal people themselves who are still with us, speaking the 
tongues from which these names come. 

It will be of some interest, no doubt, for me to give you the 
result of some inquiry of my own which reaches to the answer to 
the question of Mr. Williams. I spend many days each summer in 
the Keshena Reservation, peopled by the Menominee tribe. Last 
summer I found an old man, Peter Pamonik, who as a youth was 
familiar with the Neenah-Menasha region and its history, so far 
as the Indians knew it by tradition. He told me that Neenah was 
originally a Winnebago village and that its Winnebago name was 
"Wee-nah-pe-ko-ne." Beyond the fact that "Weenah" means 
"stinking" in the Winnebago tongue, he could not translate the 
name for me. This "Weenah," modified into "Neenah" by the 
whites, who also dropped the three closing syllables of the aborig- 
inal name, appears in several Wisconsin names. Thus, we have 
Lake Winnebago, the towns of Winneconne and Winneboujou. 

Of course all know that "Winnebago," or "Winnebagoshish," 
as it is in the original Indian, means "stinking water." This 
original Indian word in full is found in Minnesota, where a lake 
carries the name. "Winneconne" would seem to bear the ear- 
marks of being originally the "Weenahpekone" which a])])lied to 
the present city of Neenah. Of course the epithet "Noonah" grew 
out of the peculiar odor which comes from the water of Lake 
Winnebago and the slow water above it in the summer when it 
is filled with a growth of minute algae, often becoming very 

' See the December, 1921, issue of this magazine, page 207. 



The name "Menasha" applied in exactly that form to a 
Menominee village on the site of the present city, and merely 
means "island." 

George Banta^ Menasha 



During the three months' period ending April 10, 1922, there were 
thirty-one additions to the membership roll of the State Historical 
Society. Eight of these enrolled as life members, as follows: Wheeler 
P. Bloodgood, Milwaukee; John Clark, Cleveland, O.; Gustave E. Eck, 
Lake Mills; Edward A. Fitzpatrick, Madison; Charles H. Leavitt, 
Manila, P. I.; William L. Pieplow, Milwaukee; Alfred C. Schmitt, A1-' 
bany, Ore. ; Augustus H. Vogel, Milwaukee. 

Twenty-one persons became annual members of the Society: R. H. 
Adams, Minneapolis, Minn.; Robert J. Barnes, Oshkosh; Nile J. Behn- 
cke, Oshkosh; Chauncey E. Blake, Madison; Ralph N. BuckstafT, 
Oshkosh; Matthew J. Connell, Milwaukee; Loyal Durand, Milwaukee; 
William T. Harvey, Racine; Charles L. Hill, Rosendale; Earle S. 
Holman, Antigo; Jacob K. Jensen, Janesville; Clarence H. McClure, 
Warrensburg, Mo.; Emil A. Marthens, Milwaukee; Vine Miller, She- 
boygan; Frederic C. Morehouse, Milwaukee; Caleb Olson, Racine; 
Edwin C. Ostermann, Milwaukee; Howell Parks, Muskogee, Okla.; 
Harry L. Russell, Madison; Ida Sherman, North Prairie; Lewis F. 
Silverthorn, Footville. 

The North Division High School at Milwaukee became a Wisconsin 
school member, and the University of Oregon at Eugene an institutional 


Prof. Smiley Blanton of the University of Wisconsin has presented 
to the Society the papers of his uncle Gen. Thomas T. Smiley of Nash- 
ville. General Smiley was a lifelong resident of that city and acquainted 
with the historic and political characters of Tennessee. In early life 
he was a nationalist Whig; after the defeat of his party in 1852 he drifted 
into the Know-Nothing or American party. As a member of this secret 
organization he had in 1855 a political difference with Andrew Joluison. 
then campaigning for governor, which was about to lead to an "affair 
of honor.*' Upon Johnson's assurance, however, that he intriidod 
nothing personal in his allusion to the Know-Nothings, he and Sniilry 
were reconciled and became political friends. 

In the campaign of 1860 Smiley voted for Bell of the ('onstituticinal 
Union party, and saw with much regret the South undertake sewssion. 
Nevertheless, he thought it his duty to support his section, volunteered 
for service to **repel invasion," and became major of the First Tennessee 
Volunteers (Confederate), which rendezvoused at Ciimp ('heat ham. 
There he was aide-de-camp to General Foster, who was snpersr«l< d by 
Zollicoffer. Smiley was recommended to both General BeanreK\'ird ami 


Historical Notes 

the Confederate secretary of war for a brigadiership. Whether actually 
appointed or not, he was thereafter known as General Smiley. After 
the first year of the war he saw no active military service; he did, how- 
ever, hold an appointment from the Confederate government to nego- 
tiate with the federal authorities that occupied Nashville, especially 
with Johnson, military governor of Tennessee, on behalf of Confederate 
prisoners, persons whose estates were confiscated, and others suffering 
the hardships of war. General Smiley's influence was potent in amelio- 
rating conditions in the occupied regions. He also acted as legal counsel 
for many in distress, and was trusted by both parties in the great 
struggle. After the war Smiley never reentered politics, although 
frequently importuned to do so. He devoted himself to his legal prac- 
tice and to the affairs of the Odd Fellows and Masons, in whose lodges 
he held high positions. 

His papers are of many kinds: family and personal correspondence; 
legal and business documents; political and military letters. They 
extend in point of time from the close of the War of 1812 to about 1880, 
and are the only Tennessee papers we possess of a later date than the 
Draper Manuscripts. Among the interesting letters are one from 
William E. West, an American artist in Florence in 1820; an autograph 
of Edwin Booth; several letters of Andrew Johnson; and war letters of 
Generals Foster, Zollicoffer, Heiman, and other officers of lower rank. 
Pre-war papers dealing with the purchase, exchange, or hire of slaves 
are significant. Upon the whole, the Smiley papers, though not great 
in number, constitute a group of documents illustrative of the civiliza- 
tion of the lower Mississippi valley in the middle years of the last 

Louise P. Kellogg 


Among the recent additions to our manuscript collection is the diary 
of Eli Stilson II, who in 1845 made a reconnaisance of eastern Wisconsin 
to decide on its promise as a future home. Mr. Stilson was born in 1820 
at West Windsor, Broome County, New York. He came west from 
Buffalo around the lakes to Milwaukee, where the steamboat landed him 
at half past two in the morning on a cold May day. The traveler thought 
that Milwaukee was not very attractive, "situated on uneven ground 
and divided by water. The streets are tolerable smooth but the side- 
walks are miserable or not at all." It had some good buildings and did 
"a sight of business'*; but in his estimation prices were too high of both 
rents and building lots. "A fair size three story building will rent foi* 
five hundred dollars or more — a single room for one hundred or more per 

From Milwaukee Mr. Stilson went westward looking for land. He 
visited Milwaukee, Waukesha, Walworth, Jefferson, and Dodge coun- 
ties, examining several sites for a farm but making no definite selection. 
He was a shrewd judge of good land, and classified what he saw as tim- 
ber, white-oak openings, burr-oak openings, prairies, marshes, swamps, 
and lakes. Much of the land was held by non-residents and speculators. 

Some Wisconsin Public Documents 


He also noted water sources, springs, and wells. The artificial mounds 
left by primitive people interested him, and he made in his diary a 
drawing of one group near Summit, Waukesha County. The little 
homemade book of folded paper fastened with pack thread is an eloquent 
souvenir of pioneer days in Wisconsin, all the more that its writer 
later contributed a goodly share to the state's growth. In 1847 Mr. 
Stilson purchased a farm just north of Oshkosh. There he became a 
leader in the agricultural interests of the state, experimenting with 
sheep husbandry and the dairy industry. In 1860 he became a life 
member of the State Agricultural Society, and in 1871 vice-president 
for his district. In 1874 he was elected president of this important 
organization, and was twice reelected, retiring in 1878. About this 
time Mr. Stilson made investments in Texas and Kansas. He contin- 
ued, however, to make his residence at his farm home in the township 
of Oshkosh until his death August 20, 1883. 

This early diary of one of the founders of our commonwealth was 
presented to the Society by his son, Edgar Stilson of Milwaukee. 


Eugene W. Leach ("Marshall Mason Strong, Racine Pioneer") is a 
resident of Racine and a diligent student of her history. He is the author 
of several works pertaining to the history of his city and county. 

Louise P» Kellogg ("The First Traders in Wisconsin") is senior 
research associate of the Wisconsin State Historical Society. 

Gen. Charles King ("Memories of a Busy Life") is a resident of 
Milwaukee and one of the most widely known citizens of Wisconsin. 

W. A. Titus of Fond du Lac ("The Lost Village of the Mascouten") 
continues in this number his interesting series of contributions to the 
history of early Wisconsin. 


Our associate magazine, the Wisconsin Archeologist, assumed in 
January a new dress and began a new series with volume one, number 
one on the title page. It is not too much to say that the twenty years' 
publication of the Archeologist has placed Wisconsin in the front rank 
of the states that are listing and preserving their prehistoric remains 
and are making scientific reports of the primitive men of North America. 
The editor and secretary, Charles E. Brown, has personally supervised 
the publication of every one of the eighty numbers of the Archcologisi 
that has appeared in the past score of years. The Wisconsin Archeo- 
logical Society, now numbering four hundred members in every section 
of the state, was founded in October, 1901 as a section of the Wisconsin 
Natural History Society. Eighteen months later, it came of ago and 
assumed its own independence. All those wlio are interested in the 
vanishing race of our first Americans, and in keeping their relics and 
records for our children, owe a debt of gratitude to tliis Society, wliirh 
with only a small state subsidy has persevered in its good work and has 
placed Wisconsin on the archeological map of the United States. 


Historical Notes 

The University Extension department of debating and public 
discussion has issued a bulletin on Wisconsin and the Great Lakes-St. 
Lawrence Deepwater Route to the Sea, under the auspices of the Wiscon- 
sin Deep Water-ways Commission, of which Harry Sauthoff is executive 
secretary. His report on the significance of water-ways occupies the 
first place in this publication. Civilization has always followed water- 
ways; the rise of each of the great peoples of history has been upon the 
wings of sea-borne commerce. Water transportation is cheaper than 
land commerce, and now that the United States railways are almost 
bankrupt it is well to think of measures of relief. Price and production 
wait on transportation, and the only available remedy for the existing 
breakdown of the system and the possible dangers of another crisis is 
the proposed St. Lawrence water-way. It will affect every state be- 
tween the AUeghenies and the Rockies, from Canada to Oklahoma. The 
estimated cost is not prohibitive; both the Panama and Erie canals cost 
more. Engineers are agreed as to its feasibility. Its building would 
release industrial workers to develop the agricultural lands of the 
Northwest. It would create a shorter haul to English, Scandinavian, 
and Mediterranean ports, as well as do away with the shifting of cargoes 
from cars to vessels. 

A Joint High Commission of the United States and Canada met at 
New York City to discuss the problems of this water-way. Wisconsin 
was represented by F. E. Mitchell of Oshkosh. He reported the findings 
of this body with regard to ocean vessels. Three thousand two hundred 
and sixty-four are liners, 21,000 tramps. The former average above 
seven thousand tons, the latter below. Figures are here presented in the 
bulletin to show the average draft and the possibilities of lake navigation. 
By this water-way twelve states would be immediately affected, with a 
population of thirty-one million. It would give the farmers a needed 
outlet to foreign markets, and eliminate the cost of transfers at Buffalo 
for the all-water route, and transfers at Trenton for the all-land route 
to the port of New York. This project is not sectional but national in 
scope. Many Easterners favor it; for Wisconsin it would utilize a shore 
line surpassed in length only by Florida, Texas, and California. Ter- 
minals at Superior, Ashland, Green Bay, Manitowoc, Milwaukee, 
Racine, and Kenosha would lower rates and induce more complete 
cultivation of the land. 

W. G. Bruce follows with statistics of Wisconsin's productive ability. 
The state now contributes $125,000,000 of the United States exports. 
Her imports may be roughly estimated at $60,000,000. By direct access 
to the sea Wisconsin's service to the nation will be doubled. 

C. P. Norgord writes of Wisconsin's undeveloped agricultural 
possibilities. Her plow land may become eighty-two per cent greater 
than at present, with a potentiality of a marketable surplus of 102 per 
cent. Dean Russell estimates that in northern Wisconsin alone we have 
an area larger than Belgium awaiting transportation for development. 

The Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey publishes 
as Bulletin No. 58, Educational Series No. 6, The Geography and Eco- 

Some Wisconsin Public Documents 


nomic Development of Southeastern Wisconsin, by Ray Hughes Whitbeck 
professor of geography in the University. Professor Whitbeck's mono- 
graph is concerned with the physical geography and economic growth 
of five counties— Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, Kenosha, and Wal- 
worth, the earliest regions of our state to be settled after the lead-mine 
district. After describing the geology of the Great Lakes as related to 
this region, the author notes the mineral products of the district and the 
influence of Lake Michigan upon its progress. He then takes up each of 
the five counties in turn, noting briefly their pioneer era and the subse- 
quent changes. The emphasis of this monograph is placed on industry 
and commerce, in which this region excels all other portions of the state. 
Agricultural history receives but brief treatment. It is probably the 
best account yet published of the growth of manufactures in the three 
large lake-board cities of southern Wisconsin. The bibliography is 
exceUent; no references, however, are made to the material in this maga- 
zine. A few sUght errors are noted. On page 78 is a typographical 
jungle. The author speaks, on page 77, as if the first railroad was pro- 
posed while Wisconsin was included in Michigan Territory. As this was 
in September, 1836, Wisconsin Territory was already organized. These 
mistakes, however, do not mar the excellence of the work as a source for 
Wisconsin history. 

Recruiting for teaching service is assisted by a bulletin issued by 
the Platteville Normal School, entitled Why Teach? A call to teach is a 
call to arms; youth has enthusiasm, power, it must be directed. Do not 
drift, but consider in choosing a career what you can do best and most 
enjoy doing. The newer opportunities in teaching offer attractive voca- 
tions; there are manual art, rural, and agricultural schools for those who 
have such interests. Salaries are rapidly improving, and the pension 
system is effective, so teaching now carries an assurance of adequate 
living, and the possibilities of service that are creative opportunities. 
An interesting historical touch is given to this pamphlet by the excel- 
lently told reminiscences of one of Wisconsin's pioneer teachers. 


The second paragraph of footnote 16 of the article "W'iscon- 
sin's Saddest Tragedy," printed in the March, 1922, issue of this 
magazine, has been displaced from its proper position as the 
concluding part of footnote 15, on page 280. The paragraph in 
question was written by the author as a contribution to the dis- 
cussion of the practice of carrying concealed weapons. 


Abolition, press discussion of, 4-5. 

Abris, described, 183. 

Accault, Michel, captured, 4H. 

Adkins, Chester, at Ceresco, 59. 

Agricultural Society. See Wisconsin State 

^^Agricultural Society. 

Aitkin, William A., trader, 37. 

Albany (X. Y.), fur trade center, 349-350; 

railroad terminus, 394. 
Aldrich, Col. Alma M., on governor's 

staff, 374. 

Allen, C}jns M. Jr., West Point cadet, 228. 
Allen, Xathan, owner of Garland of the 
West, 47. 

Allen, R. V., pioneer river pilot, 206. 
Allis, E. P., manufacturer, 376. 
Allison, Rev. John, chairman of suffrage 
*K convention in Milwaukee, 11. 
AUouez, Father Claude, in Wisconsin, 

382-3^, 387; cited, 384-385. 
"Amelia," pen name, 49. 
American Expeditionarv Forces, officer in, 


American Suffragettes, organized, 20. 

American Woman Suffrage Association. 
See National American Woman Suf- 
frage Association. 

Amherst (Mass.), native, 330. 

Anderson, R. B., curator, 109. 

Anderson, Col. W. J., \sTites for Memorial 
Day Aruiual, 113. 

Andersonville (Ga.), prison at, 299. 

Andreas, A. T., History of Xorthern Wiscon- 
sin, cited, 33. 

"An Historical Museum," correction, 110. 

Ann Arbor (Mich.), visited, 399, 401; 
described, 400. 

Anneke, Frau Mathilde, suffragist, 11-12. 

Anthon, Charles, educator, 217. 

Anthony, Susan B., aids Wisconsin suffra- 
gists, 8-9, 12; trial of, 11-12. 

Apache Indians, uprising, 241. 

Appleby, John F., inventor, 207. 

Appleton, furnishes soldiers, 299. 

"Argonauts," in California, 134. 

Argonne Forest, in World War, 312, 318. 

Arizona, Indian troubles in, 241. 

Armistice, signed, 311, 318. 

Army d- Xavy Journal, cited, 372. 

Armv of the Potomac, story based on, 380. 

Arndt. Charles C. P., killing of, 264-283. 

Arndt, Judge John P., son of, 264. 

Ashraun,, George, in Republican Conven- 
tion of 1860, 104. 

Ashtabula (Ohio), lake port, 306. 

Athenaean Society, discusses women's 
rights, 5. 

Atlanta campaign, in Civil War, 6.3-98. 

Treasure Quest,*" anonymous, 160-170. 
"Au Mississippi en 1362," on Kensington 

rune stone, 212. 
Aurora (Ill.j, founded, 410. 
Avon (X. Y. ), route via, 394. 
Aztalan, moimds at, 105. 

Baccarat ^France), in World War, 316. - 
Baden (Germany), emigrants from. 160. 
"Badger Boy m Blue: The Letters of 

Chauncey H. Cooke," 63-98. 
Baird, Henry S., addresses State Historical 

Society, 247. 
Baker, Charles Minton, journal, 391-401; 

sketch 390. 
Baker, Charles Jr., on Lake Erie, 396. 398. 
Baker, Enos S., sheriff of Grant Countv, 

265; in duel, 281. 
Baker, Joseph, member of "Impartial 

Suffrage Convention," 8. 
Baker, Mary, on Lake Erie, 396. 398. 
Baker, Mrs. Stella, suffragist. 13. 
Bancroft, George, opinion of Draper. 258- 


Baraboo, suffrage work in. 12. 
Barber, Rev. James, Presbvterian minister. 

Barber, Valinda. son of. 119. 

Barry, A. G., Racine school commissioner. 


Bartlett, William W., "Jean Brunet. 

Chippewa Valley Pioneer." :?3-42; 

sketch, 112. 
Bascom, Mrs. Emma. See Mrs. John 


Bascom, John, favors woman suffra^, 14; 

president of University of Wisconsia. 

361; relations with General King. 

Bascora, Mrs. John, suffragist. 1.3. l.V 
Bashford, Bishop James, mother of. 120. 
Bashford, Judge Rol>ert M.. mother of. 

Batavia (N. Y.\ descril>e<l. 394. 

Bates. Edward, in Convention of 1860. 

«£^103; in Lincoln's cabinet. 222. 
Bav View, suffrage club in. I.>; riots »t. 

' 376. 

Beachey. Lincoln, aviator. 21. 
Bear River, on California trail. 1.30. 
Beauprc. L<niis. tra<lor. 20.». 
Beauregard, (ien V. G. T, Confederate 
officer. 422. 



Beaver Dam, furnishes soldiers, 299. 
Beckwith, Jacob, at Ceresco, 58. 
Beef River, settlement on, 201. 
Bell, John, in election of 1860, 100, 157, 

Belmont Gazette, cited, 280. 

Beloit, postmaster at, 109. 

Benedict, Crystal Eastman, aids Wisconsin 

suffrage cause, 20, 23. 
Bennett Law, in campaign of 1890, 157. 
"Benny Havens Oh," song. 111. 
Benton, Thomas H., senator, 280. 
Beouchard, Edward, in Brunet's employ, 


Berlin, Indian village near, 383, 388; suf- 
frage work in, 13; furnishes soldiers, 

Bigelow, John, editor, 252. 
Big Horn Mountains, Indian fighting in, 

Birge, Edward A., University professor, 

Black Forest, priest from, 160. 

Black Hawk, friend of, 410; captured, 206. 

Black Hawk War, Blue Mounds in, 112; 

Menominee Indians in, 286. 
Black Mesa, in Arizona, 241. 
Black River, in Ohio, 397. 
Black Rock Desert, trail across, 131. 
Blackwell, Henry, at Madison, 14. 
Blaine, James G., in election of 1884, 157. 
Blake, Lillie Devereux, suffragist, 14. 
Blane, William Newnham, tours America, 


Blanton, Prof. Smiley, donor, 421. 
Bloodgood, Wilkie, Civil War soldier, 217. 
Blount Papers, in Draper Collection, 260. 
Blue Mounds, fort site marked, 112. 
Boardman, Charles R., University student, 

Bonner, Robert, editor, 201. 
Booth, Edwin, autograph, 422. 
Boscobel, suffrage work in, 12. 
Boston, Radisson at, 357. 
Bourassa, Judith, married, 205. 
Bracken, Charles, Wisconsin pioneer, 280- 

Breckenridge, J. C, in election of 1860, 

Brigham, Ebenezer, at Blue Mounds, 112; 
in Territorial Council, 269-270. 

Brothertown Indians, in Wisconsin, 415. 

Brown, Amy M., donor, 171. 

Brown, John, hanged, 341. 

Brown, Mrs. Lephia O., early suffragist, 13. 

Brown, Rev. Olympia, Racine suffragist, 
13; vice-president of Wisconsin Wo- 
man's Suffrage Association, 14; presi- 
dent of Wisconsin Woman's Suffrage 
Association, 16; portrait of, frontis- 
piece; donor, 17. 

Brunet, Jean, sketch of, 33-42; portrait of, 

Brunet Falls, resident, 38-39. 

Brunson, Alfred, at Chippewa Falls, 37. 

Bryan, William Jennings, in electoral 

campaigns, 157-158. 
Bryant, Gen. Edwin E., adjutant general of 

Wisconsin, 360-361; favors woman 

suffrage, 14. 
Buchanan, James, president, 101; makes 

West Point appointments, 220. 
Buffalo, in Wisconsin, 386; hunted, 127- 


Buffalo (N. Y.), lake port, 389, 391, 394, 

396; described, 395. 
Buffalo Bill. See William F. Cody. 
Buffalo Lake, wild rice in, 287. 
Buford, John, U. S. general, 240. 
Bunker Hill, lakes steamboat, 395. 
Bunn, Judge Romanzo, of United States 

District Court, 109. 
Bunnell, Levi, Winona and Its Environs, 

cited, 412. 

Burchard, George W., adjutant general, 

Burnett, Peter H., cited, 126. 
Butte des Morts, history, 284-289. 
Buzancy (France), recovered by Allies, 

311-312, 318. 
Buzzard Roost, in Civil War, 71. 

C ADMAN, Charles W., composer. 111. 
Cairns, William B., cited, 44, 47, 54. 

Calabresi, , orchestra leader, 238. 

Caldwell's Prairie, pioneer settlement, 290. 
California, expedition to gold mines, 124- 

Cameron, Simon, for president, 103. 
Campbell Papers, in Draper Collection, 

Camp Cheatham, in Civil War, 421. 
Camp Douglas, militia training ground, 

Camp Randall, "Old Abe" at, 113; in 
Civil War, 210; uniforms at, 363. 

Camp Verde, in Arizona, 241. 

Canadian Historical Review, cited, 212. 

Canandaigua (N. Y.), described, 394. 

Cancer, treated by priest, 164-165. 

Canright, Eldon J., "Some War-time Let- 
ters," 171-200, 301-319. 

Captain Jack, Indian leader, 132. 

Captina Hills, location, 110. 

Carney, F., at Marinette, 418. 

Carpenter, Matthew H., conducts lawsuit, 

Carpet-bag government, in Louisiana, 238. 
Carron, Menominee chief, 286. 
Cartaret, Sir George, befriends Radisson, 

Cartter, David K., in Chicago convention 
of 1860, 103. 



Carver, Jonathan, cited, 412. 
Cary, Alfred, newspaper proprietor, 341. 
Cass, Lewis, ridiculed by Lincoln, 48. 
Cassoday, John B., decision on school 

suffrage, 17. 
Catholic History, cited, 159. 
Catholics, in Manitowoc County, 163-165. 
Catt, Mrs. Carrie Chapman, in Milwaukee, 


Cedar Rapids (Iowa), on westward route, 

Central German Conference, missionary, 

"Ceresco, A Pioneer Communist Settle- 
ment," by W. A. Titus, 57-62. 

Cervera, Admiral Y. Topete, fleet de- 
stroyed, 216. 

Chaetar, Winnebago captor of Black Hawk, 

Chafin, Eugene W., in election of 1912, 158. 
Chain Bridge (Va.), camp at, 360. 
Chalons (France), in World War, 312, 317. 
Chandonnet, Charles, British officer, 204. 
Chapin, Rev. Augusta, in Madison, 11. 
Chapman, Chandler P., militia officer, 

360; adjutant general, 372-374, 376- 


Chappell, William, member of Assembly, 

Charles II, king of England, court, 357- 

Charlton, Mrs. H. H., editor, 17. 

Chartists, song quoted, 51-52. 

Chase, Salmon P., in Convention of I86O5 

103, 294. 
Chase, Warren, at Ceresco, 58. 
Chateau Thierry (France), in World War, 

312, 317. 

Chattanooga (Tenn.), in Civil War, 66. 
Chaumont (France), in World War, 317. 
Chequamegon Bay, first habitation on, 

353-354; description of, 355. 
Chevalier, Barthelemy, daughter of, 417. 
Cheyenne Indians, uprising, 242. 
Chicago, Indian treaty at, 411; Wisconsin 

immigrants at, 389, 401, 403, 400; 

described, 168, 405, 506; Convention 

of 1860 at, 99; suffrage parade in, 25; 

road to, 336, 404; wolf obtained from, 


Chicago and Northwestern Railway Com- 
pany, buys Milwaukee, Lake Shore 
and Western Railway, 416. 

Chicago Historical Society, secretary, 253. 

Chicago Magazine, career of, 43. 

Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad, 
officials, 361, 375. 

Chickamauga, battle ground, 66. 

Childs, Ebenezer, at Ceresco, 58-59; 
Indian trader, 112. 

Chippewa Falls,'IBrimet's home, 33; first 

sawTuill, 37, 39. 
Chippewa Indians, murder white traders, 

35; cede land, 36; customs of, 40; at 

war, 411-412; home of, 416. 
Chippewa Lumber and Boom Company, 

donors, 39. 
Chouteau Company, employs Jean Brunet, 


Church, Archie, University student, 364. 

Cilley, Jonathan, in duel, 280, 282. 

Civil War, Rosier cited, 156. 

Clark, Charles E., captain of Oregon, 216. 

Clark, George Rogers, in Draper Manu- 
scripts, 258, 260. 

Clark, Norman, Racine pioneer, 33.5-336., 

Cleveland, Grover, in electoral campaigns, 

Cleveland (Ohio), described, 396-397; 

hotel at, 405. 
Clough, Col. Edgar E., on governor's staff, 


Coast Range, explored, 134. 

Cobb, Amasa, career of, 208-211. 

Cobb, Jerome C, at Ceresco, 58. 

Codding, Ichabod, editor, 323. 

Cody, William F. (Buffalo Bill), leader in 

Indian campaign, 242; scout, 237. 
Coetquidan (France), camp at, 316. 
Coffee, William, hanged, 277, 283. 
Cogswell, James K., rear admiral, 216. 
Collins, James, president of Territorial 

Council, 267. 
Collins, Dr. W. P., favors woman suffrage, 


Collins, Wallace, railwav official, 375. 

Collyer, Robert, cited, 339. 

Colorado River, branch of, 130. 

Columbia County, Indian sites in, 382. 

Columbia University, King at, 217; cus- 
toms, 364, 366; secretary, 371. 

Columbus (Ohio), canal via, 397. 

Confederates, try to capture "Old Abe," 

Congress, territorial delegates, 342. 
Conover, Prof. Allan, in the University, 

Cook, C. W., Chicago landlord. 405. 
Cooke, Chauncey H., letters of, 08-98. 
Cooper, T., Michigan resident, 400. 
Coosa River, fighting on. 71-73. 
Cornell. See lirunet Falls. 
Cornell vs. Barnes, supremo court case. IWP. 
Council Bluffs (Iowa), on westward route, 


('ourt Oroilles Lake, famine near, 3,W- 

,354; description of. .S.'>5-.S50. 
Cousins, Phoebe, sjiffragist. 12. 
Cowlos, Mnj. Klisha A.. letter to. .S<(>-.i24. 
('ox, James M., in election of 1S)20. 158. 
Cramer, William E., c<litor, 373. 



Cramer family, in Milwaukee, 217. 
Crawford County, represented by Brunet, 

Crazy Horse, Sioux chief, 243. 
Cree Indians, visited, 352, 354; fur gather- 
ers, 358. 

Crenneville, Count de, horseman, 239-240. 
Crocker, Hans, fruit grower, 215. 
Croghan Papers, in Draper Collection, 260. 
Crook, Gen. George, in Indian war, 242, 

CuUum, Gen. George W., at West Point, 

Cunningham's Island, in Lake Erie, 397. 

Curtis, George W., in Republican Conven- 
tion of 1860, 293. 

Custer, Gen. George A., in Indian cam- 
paign, 242. 

Cuyahoga River, port of, 397. 

Dablon, Father Claude, in Wisconsin, 

382-384; cited, 385-387. 
Daggett, S. S., at Republican Convention 

of 1860, 102-104. 
Dakota Indians, in Wisconsin, 411. See 

also Sioux. 
Dallas (Ga.). See Lost Mountain. 
Dalton (Ga.), rebel sortie at, 72. 
Darlington, militia at, 376. 
Davis, Jefferson, at Butte des Morts, 285; 

captured, 300. 
Dearbornville (Mich.), visited, 399. 
Debs, Eugene V., in electoral campaigns, 


Decora, Angel, Indian artist, 203. 
Decorah, Winnebago chief, 202-203. 
Dekorra village, in "Red Bird," 111. 
Democratic party, in early Wisconsin, 336, 

Democratic Review, cited, 49-50. 
Densmore, James, editor, 4-5. 
Dering, William S., in Territorial Council, 


Dernau (Germany), described, 313. 
Pes Moines (Iowa), on westward route, 

Detroit (Mich.), described, 398-399; judge 
in, 244. 

Detroit River, voyage on, 398. 

Dewey, William Pitt, assistant clerk of 

Assembly, 209. 
Dexter, Judge , Michigan resident, 


Dexter (Mich.), visited, 400. 

Diana Shooting Club, leases land, 413. 

Dickens, Charles, American Notes, men- 
tions killing of Arndt, 283. 

Dickson, Robert, British officer, 204. 

Dingee, Mrs. M. P., editor, 17. 

Disbrow, , Brunet's partner, 34. 

"Documenting Local History," by Joseph 
Schafer, 142-159. 

Documents: Letters of Chauncey H. 
Cooke, 63-98; Letters of Eldon J. 
Canright, 171-200, 301-319; A Letter 
from Racine in 1843, 320; Charles 
Minton Baker's Journal from Vermont 
to Wisconsin, 391-401; Letters of 
George B. Smith, 401-407. 

Dodge, Henry, negotiates treaty with 
Chippewa, 36; at Blue Mounds Fort, 
112; censured, 282. 

Dodge, Mrs. Ira, cited, 292. 

Doerflinger, C. H., cited, 110. 

Dollard, Des Ormeaux de, defends Canada, 

Doolittle, J. R., letter to, 99; senator, 221. 

Dorchester (Mass.), settled, 330. 

Dorner, Carl, antisuffragist, 20. 

Doty, James D., gives geographical name, 
208; governor, 265, 278; congressional 
delegate, 282; visits Butte des Morts, 
285; contest with legislature, 407. 

Douglas County, suffrage vote in, 23. 

Douglas, Stephen A., in Republican Con- 
vention of 1860, 100; debates with 
Lincoln, 294-295. 

Dousman, Hercules L., lumberman, 37. 

Dow, John T., member of "Impartial 
Suffrage Convention," 8. 

Dowst, N. P., magazine contributor, 46- 

Draper, Lyman Copeland, sketch of, 244- 

263; portrait, 244. 
Dubuque (Iowa), on westward route, 126. 
Ducharme, G., publisher, 212. 
Dudley, Mrs. Marion V., suffragist, 13; 

Suffrage for Woman: A Plea in Its 

Behalf, 12. 
Dueling, in early Wisconsin, 279-283. 

Duffy, , gold seeker, 125. 

Du Gay, Antoine, captured, 412. 

Duluth, Daniel Greysolson Sieur, explorer, 


Dunham, William, at Ceresco, 59. 
Dunkirk (N. Y.), railroad terminus, 397. 
Dunmore, G. W., chaplain, 297. 
Dunn, Charles, judge, 275. 
Durand, H. S., letter, 320-324. 
Durrie, D. S., Gazetteer of Wisconsin, cited, 

DiTtch, in the fur trade, 349; ransom Radis- 
son, 350; in New York, 391-392. 

Dyer, Charles E., historical address, 331, 

Eagle Regiment, named, 1 13. 
Edgefield (Tenn.), in the Civil War, 296. 
Education, institutions for, 334-335. 
Eifel Mountains, ascended, 314. 
Eighth Wisconsin Infantry, captain of, 113. 
Eliot, Robert, Milwaukee resident, 220. 
Elkhorn River, in Nebraska, 126. 



Ellis, Rev. Sumner, favors universal suf- 
frage, 8. 

Ellsworth, Col. E. E., commands Zouaves, 

Emerson, Prof. Joseph, writes letter, 139. 
Emerson, Ralph Waldo, visits Racine, 340. 
Emmons, Norman J., Milwaukee resident, 

Emory, Gen. William H., commands forces 
in Louisiana, 238, 340, 379. 

Engelmann, Peter, founds Milwaukee Pub- 
lic Museum, 110. 

Engineering department of the University, 

Equal Suffrage Association, Madison, 13. 

See also National American Woman 

Suffrage Association. 
Erie (Pa.), lake port, 397. 
Erie Lake, route via, 390; description of 

voyage on, 396-398. 
Ethnology, material for, 357. 
Evansville, suffrage work in, 12. 
Excelsior baseball club, 239. 

Fairchild, Gov. Lucius, favors woman 
suffrage, 8, 11, 14; in Madison, 367- 

Famine, in early Wisconsin, 353-354. 

Farnsv/orth, Bristol, in First Wisconsin 
Cavalry, 299. 

Earns worth, George P., mother of, 418. 

Farnsworth, William, children of, 418. 

Farrington, Rev. S., favors universal suf- 
frage, 8. 

Farwell, Gov. Leonard J., invitation to 

Draper, 248, 252. 
Fayette, in Lafayette County, 120. 
Featherstonhaugh, George W., map of, 206. 
Felicity, British sloop, 204. 
Fellows, Kate, suffragist, 13. 
Fer-en-Tardenois (France), in World War, 


Fever River, lead mining on, 34-35. 

Field, Alexander P., secretary of Wisconsin 

Territory, 273-275. 
Fifth Wisconsin Infantry, colonel of, 210. 
Finden, Amy Woodforde. See Wood- 

forde-Finden, Amy. 
Findley, John, murdered, 35. 
Fire apparatus, in pioneer days, 346-347. 
First Tennessee Volunteers, in Civil War, 


"First (The) Traders in Wisconsin," by 
Louise P. Kellogg, 348-359. 

First Wisconsin Cavalry, member. 111; in 
Civil War, 296-300. 

First Wisconsin Infantry, militia regiment, 
376, 378; mobilized in Spanish- 
American War, 381. 

Fish, Carl Russell, on the study of history, 

Fismes (France), in World War, 317. 

Fitzpatrick, Edward A., on trade schools, 

Fleming Papers, in Draper Collection, 260. 
Florence (S. C), prison at, 299. 
Fond du Lac, suffrage work in, 12. 
Foote, Horatio, in First Wisconsin Cavalrv, 

Foote, Samuel A., senator, 280. 
Foreigners, in Wisconsin, 389; suffrage for, 

Forest Conservation, beginnings of, 104- 

Forestry Commission, chairman of, 106- 

Forsyth, Thomas, Indian agent, 204. 
Fort Atkinson, furnishes soldiers, 299. 
Fort Beauharnois, French post, 412. 
Fort Hamilton, in New York harbor, 237. 
Fort Howard, commander at, 288. 
Fort St. Antoine, French post, 412. 
Fort St. Pierre, French post, 412. 
Fort Snelling (Minn.), military post, 413. 
Fort Winnebago, Red Bird surrender at, 

112; supplies for, 205. 
Fortress Monroe, prisoners at, 250. 
Forty-second Division, member of, 171. 
Forty-third Wisconsin Infantry, colonel, 


Foster, Gen. Robert C, Confederate 
officer, 421 ; letters of, 422. 

Fourier, Fran(,ois Charles, economist, 57. 

Fourteenth Amendment, defines suffrage, 7. 

Fourth Wisconsin Infantry, militia regi- 
ment, 379. 

Fowler, Lydia, lecturer, 5. 

Fox Indians, settlement of, 285; hostilities 
with, 388. 

Fox River, Indian villages on. 382-383, 

388, 410; described, 384-380. 
Fox-Wisconsin water-way, control of, 284. 
France, customs in, 172-178. 
Frank, Michael, magazine contributor, 

46-47; founds school, 56. ^ 
Fraucn Zcitung, edited by Fran Mathilde 

Anneke, 11. cC 
Frazer, William C, territorial judge. 331 . i 
Freeport (111.), home of Nippert family. 

110; railroad terminus. 141. ^ 
Free-soil party press, in Wi.sconsin, 4-5. 
Fremont, John C, defeated. 102. 
French explorers, in North .\merica. 348- 

.350, 382-388. 
Frontcnac (Minn.), fort near. 412. 
Frontiersmen, history of. 254-257. 
Fuller. Hcnrv T., Strongs partner. 


Fuller. W. J. A.. Milwaukee (xiitor.WlP. 
Fur trade, in Wi.sconsin. 348-.S59. 

Gainesville (G«.), battle at. .S6S. 
Galena and Chicago I nion Railroad, .ter- 
minus of, 141 . 



Galena Gazette, cited, 280. 

Galesville, college at, 362. 

Gardner, Emma J., communication, 110. 

Garfield, James, in electoral campaign, 157. 

Garland of the West and Wisconsin Monthly 
Magazine, career of, 43-56. 

Gascogne (France), Brmiet's birthplace, 39. 

Gatling guns, invented, 236. 

Gauthier, Francis, befriended by Brunet, 
38; sketch of, 39-42. 

Gautier, Charles, officer in Indian depart- 
ment, 203. 

Genesee County (N. Y.), seat, 394. 

Genesee River, crossed, 394. 

"Genesis (The) and Early History of the 
Wisconsin Natural History Society at 
Milwaukee," cited, 110. 

Georgian Bay, Indians on, 352. 

German-American Alliance, opposes 
woman suffrage, 30. 

German Reformed Church, in town of 
Newton, 158-159. 

Germans, in town of Newton, 151-154; 
oppose slavery, 157. 

Germany, emigration from, 160; infantry 
tactics, 372. 

Gibbon, Gen. John, visits Wisconsin, 368. 

Giddings, Joshua R., in Republican Con- 
vention of 1860, 293. 

Gifford, Elihu B., names Mondovi, 201. 

Gilmore, Quincy A., at West Point, 219. 

Glory of the Morning, Indian story. 111. 

"Gold Bluff," mining region, 134. 

Gold mining, account of, 133-141. 

Good Thunder, Winnebago chief, 203. 

Gorrell, Lieut. James, diary, 251. 

Gould, George, batsman, 239. 

Gould, Uriah, at Ceresco, 59. 

Grand Army of the Republic, parade, 377; 
encampment. 111. 

"Grand Butte des Morts, A Hamlet with a 
History," by W. A. Titus, 284-289. 

Grand Pre (France), held by Germans, 
311; recovered by Allies, 318. 

Grand Rapids, suffrage work in, 13. 

Grant, Gen. Ulysses S., in electoral cam- 
paign, 157; in Wisconsin, 360; funeral 
ceremonies, 377-378. 

Grant County, representatives in Terri- 
torial Council, 265. 

Grass Valley (Cal.), in placer region, 138. 

Graves, William R., in duel, 280. 

Gray, Hamilton H., introduces woman 
suffrage bill, 6. 

Great Salt Lake, on western route, 130. 

Greeley, Horace, in electoral campaign, 

Green Bay (city), traders at, 205; land 
office at, 58; road to, 148-149; fur- 
nishes soldiers, 299. 

Green Bay (water), traders on, 352. 

Green Bay Republican, cited, 277. 
Green Lake County, Indian sites in, 382. 
Green River, branch of the Colorado, 130. 
Grey town (Nicaragua), port, 141. 
Grignon, Amable, trader, 205. 
Grignon, Augustin, Indian trader, 286- 

287; interviewed, 251. 
Grignon, Charles, trader, 205. 
Grignon, Paul, trader, 205. 
Grignon, Robert, trader, 285-286. 
Griswold, Mrs. Hattie Tyng, suffragist, 15. 
Groseilliers, Medart Chouart de, marriage, 

349, 352; journal, 352; voyages, 351- 

357; death, 359. 

Grottkau, , labor leader, 374. 

Gudden, Mrs. B. C, sends suffrage letters 

to German newspapers, 25. 

Haggart, Mary E., English suffragist, 14. 
Hamilton, Alexander, son of, 123. 
Hamilton, William S., Wisconsin pioneer, 

Hamilton's Diggings. See Wiota. 
Hancock, Gen. W. S., in Civil War, 211; 

at Grant obsequies, 377-378. 
Hanks, John, in Republican Convention of 

1860, 293. 
Hardee-Casey, tactical system, 372. 
Harding, Warren G., election of, 158. 
Harnden, Gen. Henry, in First Wisconsin 

Cavah-y, 299. 
Harper, Harry, publisher, 380. 
Harper Brothers, publishers, 379-380. 
Harrison, Benjamin, in electoral campaigns, 


Harvey, Louis P., magazine contributor, 
46, 49; critic, 50; editor, 276. 

Hatch, K. L., on Wisconsin agricultural 
progress, 115. 

Hawks, Amanda, married, 332. 

Hebert, Gen. Paul O., horseman, 239-240. 

Heiman, Gen. Adolphus, letters of, 422. 

Henderson Papers, in Draper Collection, 

Hennepin, Father Louis, in Wisconsin, 
384; captured, 412. 

Henni, John Martin, archbishop at Mil- 
waukee, 161. 

Henry, Patrick, in Draper Manuscripts, 

Henry, Prof. William A., enters Univer- 
sity, 364. 

Hiawatha, meter. 111. 

Hildebrand, Mrs. Jennie L., member of 
"Impartial Suffrage Convention," 8. 

Hill of the Dead. See Butte des Morts. 

Hirschinger, Michael, Napoleonic veteran, 

"Historic Spots in Wisconsin," by W. A. 

Titus, 57-62, 160-165, 382-388. 
Historical Frs. cpmeuts, 99-109, 290-300. 



Historical Landmarks Committee, at Blue 
Momids, 112. 

Hoard, William D., in electoral campaign, 
157; governor of Wisconsin, 378. 

Hobart, Harrison C, candidate for gover- 
nor, 157. 

Holbrook, William E., at Ceresco, 59. 
Hollister, Mrs, Alura Collins, suffragist, 

Holt, Orlando, gold seeker, 291. 
Holt, R. L., father of, 291. 
Honey Lake, at foot of the Sierras, 131. 
Horicon Marsh, history of, 413-414. 
Horse racing, in the South, 239-240. 
Hortonville (Vt.), departure from, 391. 
Houghton Point, on Chequamegon Bay, 

Houston, Sam, politician, 100. 

Howe, Timothy O., death, 339. 

"How Wisconsin Women Won the Ballot," 

by Theodora W. Youmans, 3-32. 
Hubbard, Gov. Henry, of Vermont, 413. 
Hubbardton (Vt.), route from, 395. 
Hudson and Erie Railroad, terminus, 397. 
Hudson Bay, voyage to, 350, 357-358. 
Hudson's Bay Company, organized, 348, 

354, 358; pension from, 359; clerk of, 


Hughes, Charles E., in electoral campaign, 

Humboldt River, on California trail, 130. 
Hunt, Alfred B., gold seeker, 290-292. 
Hunter, Nathan, at Ceresco, 58. 
Huntington, C. P., quartermaster sergeant, 

Huron (Ohio), described 397. 
Huron Indians, name for tribe, 384. 
Huron Lake, early voyages to, 352. 
Huron River, in Ohio, 397. 
Husted, Ida, and Anthony, Susan B., His- 
tory of Woman Suffrage, 11-12. 

Illinois, traders in, 352; and suffrage 

amendment, 28-29. 
Illinois Indians, habitat, 387. 
Illinois Monthly Magazine, founded, 52. 
Illinois National Guard, member of, 171. 
Illustrations : 

The Reverend Olympia Brown, fron- 

Who are the Anti-Suffragists, 10. 
Danger! 22. 
Jean Brunet, 34. 

Cover Design of The Garland of the 

West, 44. 
Kenosha in 1842, 50. 
The Long House, 60. 
John Barber Parkinson, 117. 
The First Church Built in St. Nazianz, 


St. Nazianz in an Early Day, 162. 

A Winding Street in St. Na/ianz, 16 1. 

General Charles King, 213. 

Lyman Copeland Draper, LL.D., 244. 

Racine in 1843, 320. 

Marshall Mason Strong, 327. 

Governor Rusk and His Staff at the 
Funeral of General Grant, 378. 
"Impartial Suffrage Convention," meets at 

Janesville, 8; purpose of, 9. 
"Increase Allen Lapham, Father of Forest 

Conservation," by M. M. Quaife, 

Indian agency, in Arizona, 241. 
Indian mounds, survey of, 105. 
Indiana, route through, 401. 
Indians, primitive conditions, 356-357, 

382-388; music. 111; hostilities, 1?2, 

242, 379; firearms among, 409; 

Wisconsin tribes, 123-124; suffrage for. 

3. See also the several tribes. 
Inniskilling Dragoons, member of, 239. 
Iowa, discoverer of, 350; officials at Grant 

obsequies, 477-478. 
Iowa-Michigan brigade, at Blue Mounds 

Fort, 112. 

Iron Brigade, commander of, 368; members, 

Iroquois Indians, hostilities with, 349- 
351, 353, 387; expedition to, 351. 

Irvin, David, territorial judge, 275. 

Irving, Roland D., l^niversitv professor. 

Irwin, Alexander J., territorial legislator, 

Irwinsville (Ga.), Jefferson Davis captured 
at, 300. 

Isanti Indians. See Santee Sioux. 

Ives, Stephen N., Racine pioneer, 331. 341. 

Jackson (Jacksonburgh, Mich ), visited. 

Jackson County (Mich.), seat. 400. 

Jacobs, John B., at Green Bay. 418. 

Jacobs, John B. Jr., mother of, 4 IS. 

Jacobs, Marinette, career of. 417-418. 

James, Ada L., suffragist, 16; president of 
Political Equality League. 20. 

James, David G., introduces suffrage raca-*- 
ures, 16, 19; carries ratification docu- 
ment to Washington. 28. 

James, Mrs. Georgia, suffragist. l.'>. 

James, Mrs. Laura, .stiffragist. l.V 

James, N. L., introduces suffrage measure, 

Jandron, Sophie, married. 39. 

Janes, Loren/.o. in torrilorial legislature, 

337; ncw.spapcr proprietor. .S41. 
Janesville, holds suffrage convent ion«, 

6-8. 12; militia at. ,S76. 
•Tanesville Daih/ Gnzrtfr, (Mto«l. 8. 
"Joan Hninrt. ChipiH-w.i \ alloy Pioncrr." 

I)y William W. Hartlett. .S.i-W. 
Jesuit missionaries, in Wi."»con.Hin. .SH« 5H8 



Jesuit Relations, sources for history, 351, 

Jipson, N. P., aid acknowledged, 203. 

"John Barleycorn," article by, 345-346, 

Johnson, Andrew, governor of Tennessee, 
421-422; letters of, 422. 

Johnson, Col. Richard M., settles in Wis- 
consin, 34-35. 

Johnston, George, in Black Hawk War, 286. 

Jolliet, Louis, in Wisconsin, 384. 

Jones, George W., territorial delegate, 282. 

"Josephine," criticized, 54-55. 

Juan de Seur (Nicaragua), port, 140. 

Kalk, Charles N., University student, 364. 
Kamper, J. H., introduces suffrage measure, 

Kankakee River, Indians on, 410. 

Kansas, pioneer suffrage w^ork in, 13; 
homesteader in. 111. 

Kansas City (Mo.), resident, 334. 

Kellogg, Amherst W., "Personal Recollec- 
tions of the Republican Convention of 
May, 1860," 102-104. 

Kellogg, Louise Phelps, "The Services and 
Collections of Lyman Copeland Dra- 
per," 244-263; "The First Traders in 
Wisconsin," 348-359; sketch, 325. 

Kellogg, Seth R., at Ceresco, 59. 

Kenesaw Mountain, in Civil War, 84-85. 

Kenosha, view of, 50; in 1840, 45; terminus 
of journey, 406; schools in, 56; suffrage 
in, 4-5; furnishes soldiers, 299. 

Kenosha County, senator for, 5-6. 

Kensington rune stone, discussed, 212. 

Keshena Reservation, home of Menominee 
Indians, 419. 

Keweenaw Point, first visit to, 353. 

Keyes, Elisha W., president of Board of 
Regents, 361. 

Kilbourn, Byron, surveyor, 144; promoter, 
209-210; speech of, 346. 

Kimball, George, at Kenosha, 46. 

Kimball, Julius H., publisher, 45-47. 

King, Gen. Charles, "Memories of a Busy 
Life," 215-243, 360-381; sketch, 423; 
portrait, 213. 

King, Charles L, University instructor, 

King's Mountain, battle of, 261. 
Kmgston, John, University student, 364. 
Kingston, John T., pioneer, 206, 
Kirke, Mary, married, 358. 
Klamath Lake (Cal.), mining region, 132. 
Knapp, Gilbert, founder of Racine, 331- 
332, 341. 

Knapp, Judge J. Gillett, cited, 282. 
Knickerbocker, early magazine, 51. 
Knight, Albert G., Racine pioneer, 333. 
Knight, Mrs. Albert G., aid acknowl- 
edged, 333. 
Knights Templar, in Wisconsin, 372. 

Lacher, J, H. A., "Visions of a Wisconsin 
Gold Seeker," 290-292; sketch, 326, 

Lady Elgin, lake steamer, 418. 

La Grange, Col. Oscar, of First Wisconsin 
Cavalry, 298. 

La Grange, Capt. Wallace, of First Wiscon- 
sin Cavalry, 298. 

Lagrange (Walworth Co.), settler in, 207. 

Lahontan, Louis Armand baron de, in Wis- 
consin, 384. 

Lake City Guard. See Madison. 

Lake Geneva, early settler, 390. 

La Mott, Menominee chief, 286. 

Landmarks Committee. See Historical 
Landmarks Committee, 

Lands, granted for agricultural education, 
360, 362, 367. 

Lane, Carlton, at Ceresco, 59. 

Langlade, Charles de, officer in Indian 
department, 203; grandson of, 286, 

Lapham, Increase Allen, Topography of 
Wisconsin, cited, 206; organizes State 
Historical Society, 246; sketch, 104. 

La Pointe, Indian agent at, 37, 

Larrabee, Charles H., friend of Draper, 
247-248, 252; at Horicon, 413. 

Lassen Trail, across Black Rock Desert, 

Lathrop, Stanley E., "Vital Statistics of 
the First Wisconsin Cavalry in the 
Civil War," 296-300; sketch, 326. 

Lathy, Bill, tavern keeper, 402. 

La vine, Frank, in First Wisconsin Cavalry, 

Layton, Frederick, Milwaukee resident, 

Leach, Eugene Walter, "Marshall Mason 
Strong, Racine Pioneer," 329-347; 
sketch, 423. 

Learned, Charles J., cited, 267. 

Lee, Charles H., Racine lawyer, 340. 

Lemon weir River, trading on, 205. 

Leona (Mich.), visited, 400. 

Leonard, A. J., baseball player, 239. 

Leonard, William EUery, author. 111. 

Le Roy (N. Y.), described, 394. 

Le Sueur, Pierre Charles, in Wisconsin, 384. 

Lewis, John H., Racine alderman, 333. 

Lewis, Mrs. Margaret, Racine pioneer, 333. 

Lieurance, Thurlow, composer. 111. 

Light Horse Squadron. See Milwaukee. 

Lima (Mich.), visited, 399-400. 

Limbert, John, at Ceresco, 58. 

Lincoln, Abraham, ridicules Lewis Cass, 
48; candidate for presidential nomina- 
tion, 100-104, 157, 292-296; in duel, 
280; makes West Point appointments, 
221-222; visits West Point, 223; in 
Milwaukee, 408; letters to, 341. 

Lincoln (Neb.), First National Bank of, 



Lippincott, J. B., publisher, 380-381. 
Little Butte des Morts, site of, 285. 
LiUle {A) Flag Book No. 3, issued, 113. 
Little Rock (Ark.), prison at, 299. 
Livermore, Mary A., attends Milwaukee 

suffrage convention, 9. 
"Lobby." See Ryan, Edward G. 
Lobbying, for woman suffrage, 19-20. 
Lockwood, Judge James H., cited, 34. 
Logan, Indian chief, 110. 
London (England), Radisson at, 358-359. 
Lone Star, baseball club, 239. 
"Long House," formation, 59; described, 

60; picture, 60. 
Longfellow, Henry W., poet. 111. 
Longstreet, Gen. James, in U. S. Army, 


Lossing, Benjamin, opinion of Draper, 258. 
"Lost Village of the Mascouten," by W. A. 

Titus, 382-388. 
Lost Mountain, in Civil War, 74. 
Louis XIV, prescribes Radisson, 358. 
"Lucky Canyon," mining region, 134. 
Luneville (France), in World War, 316. 
Luxemburg, Duchy of, soldiers in, 313, 318. 
Lyceums, aid suffrage cause, 12. 

MacArthur, Gen. Arthur, career, 216-217, 

McCabe, , edits Gazetteer of Wiscon- 
sin, 34. 

McCann, Mrs. , purchases "Old 

Abe," 113. 

McCarty, , cited, 410. 

McClellan, George B., in electoral cam- 
paign, 157. 

McCleod, Mrs. Charles, mother of, 418. 

McClung, Mrs. , cited, 27. 

McGovern, Francis E., action on suffrage, 

McKee, Margaret, married, 120. 
McKenney, Thomas L., and Hall, James, 

History of the Indian Tribes, cited, 410. 
Mackenzie, Alexander, West Point cadet, 


Mackinac, British at, 203. 
McKinley, William, in electoral campaigns, 

McMynn, Col. John G., cited, 335. 

McNair, Alexander, settler, 35. 

McVey, C. A., baseball player, 239. 

Madison, legislature at, 332-333; constitu- 
tional convention at, 342; furnishes 
soldiers, 299; militia companies, 360; 
Lake City Guard, 372; resident, 391 ; 
suffrage headquarters at, 18; suffrage 
school at, 24. 

Madison Express, cited, 271-274. 

Madison Street Railway, president, 109. 

Madison Wisconsin Argus, cited, 345-346. 

Madison Wisconsin Enquirer, cited, 269, 
271-274, 282. 

Madison Wisconsin State Journal, issues 
suffrage editions, 25. 

Magone, James, discusses suffrage, 3-4. 

Mahican Indians. vSee Stockbridge In- 

Maiden Rock, legend of, 411-412. 
Malaria, in Wisconsin, 161-162. 
Maiden (Can.), passed, 398. 
Mallory, Rollin B., University student, 

Manheim (N. Y.), route via, 391-392. 

Manitoba, discoverer of, 350. 

Manitowoc, railroad terminus, 146. 

Manitowoc County, Histx)ry of, cited, 156; 
typical town in, 144-159; religious 
colony in, 160-165. 

Manitowoc County Herald, cited, 148, 157. 


Racine in 1843, 320. 

Marathon County, organized, 13. 

Mardi Gras, at New Orleans, 238-239. 

Marin, Pierre Paul de, French comman- 
dant, 203, 285. 

Marinette, significance of, 417-418. 

Marne River, camp on, 317. 

Marquette, Father Jacques, visits Wiscon- 
sin, 384; map, 383; cited, 383. 

Mars, , justice-of-the-peace, 336. 

Marshall, R. D., eulogizes Chief Justice 
Winslow, 113. 

Marshall (Mich.), distance, 401. 

"Marshall Mason Strong, Racine Pioneer," 
by Eugene Walter Leach, 329-437. 

Martin, , baseball player, 239. 

Martin, H. G., at Ceresco, 59. 

Martin, Morgan L., pioneer, 205: addresses 
Stale Historical Society, 247; in Terri- 
torial Council, 268, 277; visits Butte 
des Morts, 285. 

Martin Biblical Institute, director. 111. 

Martin Papers, in Draper Collection. 260. 

Mary E., on "Votes for Women" tour. 21. 

Mascouten Indians, lost village of, 382- 
388; erroneous name for. 387. 

Masonry, in Wisconsin, 374. 

Massachusetts, pioneers in. 330. 

Mattison, Schuyler, R^icine pionc<'r. 3.^6. 

Maxon, Rev. H. D.. favors woman suffrafje, 

Meachem, Mrs. John (i.. Ruin«^ resident, 

Meaux (France), in World War. 317. 
Mecklenburg De<-laration of In<lo|>cndcnce, 

e.ssay on. 261 . 
Medill. William. Indian (^mmi.vioncr. 488. 
Memorial Day Annual. 1921 isstic. 113. 
"Memories of n Life." Iiy Gen. 

( harlcs King. 215 243. .S(U) .SHI; 

literary labors. 379-:Wl ; sketch. ilW. 



"Memories of Early Wisconsin and the 
Gold Mines," by John M. Parkinson, 

Menasha, significance of, 420. 

Menominee Indians, home of, 285, 415. 

Menominee River, forest destruction on, 

Menomonee River, at Milwaukee, 375. 

Menomonie, furnishes soldiers, 299. 

Men's Political Equality League, organ- 
ized, 21. 

Merrell, Henry E., settler, 112. 

Merritt, Gen. Wesley, in Indian war, 243. 

Metairie Jockey Club, in New Orleans, 239. 

Methodist Episcopal Church, minister of, 
110; bishop of, 120. 

Metoxen, John, Indian chief, 415. 

Miami Indians, in Wisconsin, 385, 387. 

Michigan, route through, 399-401. 

Michigan City, visited, 402; described, 

Michigan Lake, head of, 404-405. 

Michigan Military Academy, commandant, 

Michigan University, in early days, 400. 

Mille Lac, Indian village on, 354 ; wild rice 
on, 356. 

Millen (Ga.), prison at, 299. 

Miller, Roswell, railway manager, 375. 

Mills, Joseph T., attacked, 281. 

Mills, in Manitowoc County, 149. 

Milton College, president of, 9. 

Milwaukee, British officers at, 203-204; 
immigrants arrive at, 161, 396; wheat 
market, 123; residents, 215-216, 330, 
407; museum founded, 110; principal 
of German-English Academy, 110; 
suffragist movement in, 9, 14, 25; fur- 
nishes soldiers, 299; strike riots, 374- 
377; ratification rally, 345; Lincoln 
in, 408; in 1845, 422; fur trade market, 

Milwaukee and La Crosse Railroad, lobby- 
ing for, 208-210. 

Milwaukee County, suffrage work in, 23- 

Milwaukee Courier, cited, 47-48, 282. 

Milwaukee Democrat, cited, 275. 

Milwaukee Evening Wisconsin, policy, 373. 

Milwaukee, Lake Shore and Western Rail- 
way, company organized, 416; built, 
146; in town of Newton, 149. 

Milwaukee Light Horse Squadron, mobil- 
ized, 371, 375-377. 

Milwaukee River, affected by forest de- 
struction, 107-108. 

Milwaukee Sentinel, opposes woman suf- 
frage, 5; cited, 282, 346, 408; publishes 
King's stories, 379. 

Milwaukee Sunday Telegraph, publications, 

Mineral Point, former name, 123; pioneers, 

Mineral Point Miners' Free Press, editor of, 

Miners, social conditions among, 134-139. 

Mingo Indians, home of, 110. 

Minneapolis (Minn.), G. A. R. encamp- 
ment at. 111. 

Minnehaha, significance of, 409-410. 

Minnesota, discoverer of, 350. 

Mississippi River, discoverer of, 350, 
353; early mention of, 385; crossed, 

Missouri River, crossed, 126. 

Mitchell, Alexander, railway president, 

361; in Milwaukee, 215, 219; lobbyist, 


Mitchell, Capt. William, in Civil War, 217. 
Modoc Indians, hostilities with, 132. 
Mohawk Indians, in Canada, 207. See 

also Iroquois Indians. 
Mohawk River, route along, 391-392. 
Monarchist, race horse, 239. 
Mondovi, significance of, 201. 
Monico, on Milwaukee, Lake Shore and 

Western Railway, 416. 
Monroe, Arndt trial at, 275. 
Monroe County (Ohio), home of Nippert 

family, 110. 
Montmidy (France), in World War, 312. 
Montreal, fur fau* at, 348-349; Radisson at, 


Moore, Col. M. T., militia officer, 378. 

Moose, in Wisconsin, 356. 

"More Recollections of Abraham Lincoln," 

by M. P. Rindlaub, 292-296. 
Mormon City, on western route, 130. 
Morong. See Marin. 
Morrill land grant colleges, 360, 362. 
Morrisania (N. Y.), baseball club in, 239. 
Mosinee, suffrage work in, 13. 
Mukwonago, suffrage work in, 13. 
Mimkwitz, Charles, Milwaukee resident, 


Munsee Indians, in Wisconsin, 415. 
Murphy, Denis, killed, 281. 
Mutz, Peter, priest, 164. 
Myers, John, Racine pioneer, 341. 

Napoleon, battles of, 201. 

Nathan Oaks, race horse, 240. 

National American Woman Suffrage Asso- 
ciation, aids Wisconsin cause, 3, 23; 
services in World War, 29. 

National Guard. See Wisconsin. 

Neenah, significance of, 207-208, 409-410, 

Neesh-ah-ke-soonah-er-rah, Indian term 

for Dells, 205. 
Negro suffrage, debates on, 342-343. 
Neptune, lakes brig, 396. 



Nevada City (Cal.), in mining district, 139. 
Newell, Marshall, pioneer, 207. 
New England, emigrants from, 329-330, 

New London, suffrage work in, 15. 
New Orleans, riots in, 236; celebrations in, 

Newport, in town of Newton, 149. 
Newton, history of, 142-159. 
Newtonburg, post office at, 149; pastor at, 

New York (state) emigrants from, 329-331, 

389; route through, 391-395; early 

railroad in, 394. 
New York City, suffrage mass meeting in, 

23; Grant obsequies at, 377; authors' 

guild, 380-381. 
New York Evening Post, editor of, 252. 
New York Tribune, cited, 57, 279. 
Newell, T. V., at Ceresco, 59. 
Newman, Lena V., editor, 17. 
Nez Perce Indians, war against, 243. 
Nicaragua Lake, crossed, 140. 
Nichols, Steve, in First Wisconsin Cavalry, 


Nicholson, Clarina Howard, lecturer, 5. 
Nicodemus, Prof. W. J. L., in the Univer- 
sity, 360. 

Nicolet, Jean, discoverer of Wisconsin, 201- 
202, 350. 

Nineteenth Amendment, promulgated, 3. 
Nippert, Alfred K., ancestors of, 110. 
Nippert, James, in World War, 111. 
Nippert, Louis, visits Wisconsin, 110. 
Nippert, Michael, Napoleonic soldier, 110. 
Nippert, Philip, in Civil War, 111. 
North American Review, first number of, 

Northeim, post office at, 149; church, 159. 
Northern Pacific Railroad, engineers on, 

North Prairie, suffrage work in, 15. 
Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance 

Company, officers, 102. 
Norway, newspaper of, 166-170. 
"Nugget Gulch," mining region, 134. 

Oak openings, described, 399-400. 

Oakley, Frank W., sketch, 109. 

Ohio, emigrants from, 390; shore line, 

396; canal through, 397; supports 

Lincoln, 103. 
"Old Abe," Wisconsin eagle, 113. 
Olin, Mrs. Helen R. See Olin, Mrs. John 


Olin, John M., favors woman suffrage, 14. 
Olin, Mrs. John M., suffragist, 14. 
Olson, Julius, cited, 408. 
Omro, on Fox River, 382. 
One Hundred and Forty-ninth Field Artil- 
lery, member of, 171. 
Oneida County, history of, 416. 

Onondago County (N. Y.), route through, 

"On the Disastrous Effects of the Destruc- 
tion of Forest Trees, Now Going on 
so Rapidly in the State of Wisconsin," 
published, 107. 

"On the Road to Wisconsin," 389-407. 

Orchard Lake (Mich.), militarv academv 
at, 379. 

Oregon, U. S. battleship, 216. 

Oregon Historical Society Quarterly, cited, 

Oronhyetetha, Indian chief, 207. 

Orton, Judge Harlow S., invitation to 

Draper, 252. 
Osage Indians, feud, 411. 
Oschwald, Ambrose, priest and colonizer, 

Oshkosh, Menominee chief, 286. 
Oshkosh True Democrat, attitude toward 

woman suffrage, 4-5. 
Ottawa Indians, village sites, 353-354. 
Ottawa River, route via, 348, 351. 
Ourcq River (France), crossed, 317. 
Overton's Creek, site of trading post, 287. 
Owen, Edward T., Universitv professor, 


Oxen, on Wisconsin farm, 121. 
Oxford (England), Bodleian library at, 349- 

Pack trains, equipped, 125-126; cross the 

mountains, 133. 
Paine, Byron, cited, 340. 
Paint Creek, in Manitowoc County, 144. 
Pamonik, Peter, cited, 419. 
Parker, A. A., Trip to the West, 3H9. 
Parker, Alton B., in electoral campaign, 


Parker, F. A., University professor, 864. 
Parkinson, Col. Daniel M., Wisconsin 

pioneer, 119-120. 
Parkinson, John, Civil War soldier, 217. 
Parkinson, John B., curator. 109; **Mom<>- 

ries of Early Wisconsin and the (toM 

Mines," 119-141; portrait. 117. 
Parkinson, Margaret, Wisconsin pioneer. 


Parkinson, Nathaniel, Wisconsin pioneer, 

Parkinson, Peter ("Badger Pete"). Wis- 
consin pioneer, 120. 

Parkinson. Peter ("Sucker Pete" ), father 
of John B. Parkinson. 120. 

Parkinson, William, Wisconsin pioneer. 

Parknian. Francis, relations with Draper. 

251.259; Conspiracy of Pontiar. 

sources, 251, 259. 
Parsons. , en mule to Wi«xinsin. 


Patchin, Mrs H.winah. sutTr.i>^<«t. <•>. 



Patrick Papers, cited, 417. 
Pawnee Indians, camp, 126. 
Peck, George W., governor of Wisconsin, 
157, 379. 

Peckham, George W., biologist, 217; 

founder of museum, 110. 
Peckham, Lila, Milwaukee suffragist, 9, 12. 
Pelican, described, 356. 
Pelican Lake, on Milwaukee, Lake Shore 

and Western Railway, 416. 
Pennsylvania, western routes through, 397. 
Pennsylvania, Great Lakes steamboat, 331. 
Pennsylvania University, head of, 245. 
Peoria, Indian agency at, 204. 
Pepin Lake, Indian hostilities on, 35. 
Pepys, Samuel, diarist, 350. 
Perkins, John E., purchases "Old Abe," 


Perrot, Nicolas, in Wisconsin, 384, 412. 
Pershing, Gen. John J., inspects troops, 

"Personal Recollections of the Republican 
Convention of May, 1860," by 
Amherst W. Kellogg, 102-104. 

Pewautenot, Menominee chief, 286. 

Philadelphia (Pa.), commerce of, 397. 

Philadelphia United Service magazine, 

Philipp, Emanuel, in electoral campaign, 

Phillips, Wendell, in Racine, 340. 
Pierce County, history of, 411-413. 

Pierson, Mrs. , letter to, 301. 

Pike, Lieut. Zebulon M., on Mississippi 

River, 413. 
Pike River Settlement, home of Kimballs, 


Pitt River, branch of the Sacramento, 132. 
Pinette, P. J., Jesuit superior, 385. 
Platte River, on westward route, 126-127. 
Platte ville Wisconsin Whig, cited, 271. 
Pleasant Prairie, in Racine County, 335. 
Poe, Edgar Allan, critic, 49-51. 
Point Bas, trail, 206. 

Political Equality League, organized, 20; 

work of, 21-23; fusion with Wisconsin 

Woman's Suffrage Association, 23-24. 
Political parties, on woman suffrage, 26-27. 
Pontotoc (Miss.), residents of, 248, 256; 

Spirit of the Times, published, 249, 
Porlier, Jacques Jr., trader, 205. 
Porlier, Louis, trader, 287. 
Portage, Indian surrender at, 112; sites 

near, 382-383. 
Portsmouth (Ohio), canal terminus, 397. 
Port Washington, Lincoln in, 408. 
Potawatomi Indians, chief of, 410. 
Potter, John Fox, challenged, 280. 
Powell, Charles, in Civil War, 228-229. 
Powhattan (Ohio), location, 110. 
Poygan Lake, wild rice in, 287. 

Prairie du Chien, home of Brunet, 33-36; 

Indian agency at, 206; furnishes 

soldiers, 299. 
Prescott, William H., opinion of Draper, 


Prescott, battle at, 411-412. 

President Lincoln, U. S. troop ship, 316. 

Press, Norwegian, 166-170. 

Preston, , at Horicon, 413. 

Preston Papers, in Draper Collection, 260. 
Price County, home of "Old Abe," 113. 
Prince Society, publications, 350. 
Princeton, Indian site near, 388. 
Progress, opposes woman suffrage, 23. 
Progressives, favor woman suffrage, 27. 
Prohibitionists, favor woman suffrage, 26- 

Public Documents, 112-115, 423-425. 
Public lands, leased, 114. See also Lands. 
Puckaway Lake, wild rice in, 287. 

QuAiFE, M. M., "Wisconsin's First Literary 
Magazine," 43-56; "Increase Allen 
Lapham, Father of Forest Conserva- 
tion," 104-108; "Wisconsin's Saddest 
Tragedy," 264-283; sketch, 112. 

Racine, in pioneer days, 320-324; pioneers 
of, 329-347; presents "Red Bird," 111. 

Racine Advocate, cited, 276; editors, 341; 
policy, 342; articles, 345. 

Racine and Mississippi Railroad, bonds for, 

Racine Argus, editors, 341. 

Racine College, early history of, 335. 

Racine County, destination of travelers, 

406; lawyers' club, 338. 
Racine Seminary, incorporated, 334. 
Radisson, Marguerite, married, 349. 
Radisson, Pierre Esprit, journals found, 

349- 350; marriage, 350, 358; voyages, 

350- 357; deserts to English, 357-358; 
death 359. 

Railroads,'in Wisconsin, 146, 149, 208-210, 
336. See also the several companies. 

"Rainbow Division," member of, 171. 

Raisin River, in Michigan, 399-400. 

Randall, Alexander W., in electoral cam- 
paign, 157. 

Rapidita, race horse, 240. 

Reade, Lieut. Philip, military instructor, 

Recreation, cited, 292. 

Red Banks, site of Winnebago village, 202. 
Red Bird, Winnebago chief, 288. 
"Red Bird," musical drama. 111. 
Redding Springs. See Shasta City. 
Red Stockings, baseball club, 239. 
Reed, Harrison, editor, 273. 
Referendum, on suffrage, 14, 23. 
Reid, Mrs. F. Harris, member of "Impar- 
tial Suffrage Convention," 8. 



Religious colony, account of, 160-165. 

Remagen (Germany), on the Rhine, 315. 

Republican Convention of 1860, recollec- 
tions of, 102-104, 292-294. 

Resaca (Ga.), in Civil War, 71, 

Revolutionary War, captain in, 119; Mil- 
waukee in, 203. 

Rhinelander, F. W., capitalist, 416. 

Rhinelander, Frederick William, father of, 

Rhinelander, Philip, bishop, 417. 
Rhinelander, Philip Jacob, emigrates to 

America, 416-417. 
Rhinelander, William, father of, 417. 
Rhinelander, William II, buys sugar house, 


Rhinelander, William C, father of, 417. 
Rhinelander, founding of, 416. 
Rich, Martin, builds dam, 413. 
Richards, Pearl, author of "Red Bird," 

Richards, Sarah H., cited, 15. 
Richland Center, suffrage work in, 12. 
Richland Democrat, issues suffrage editions, 


Richmond (Va.), prison at, 299. 
Rindlaub, M. P., "More Recollections of 

Abraham Lincoln, 292-296; sketch, 


Ripon, absorbs Ceresco, 58; furnishes 

soldiers, 299. 
Robert E. Lee baseball club, 239. 
Robert, Mrs. Gustave, recollections of, 


Robertson, Samuel, captain of Felicity, 204. 
Rochester (N. Y.), railroad through, 394; 

Susan B. Anthony tried at, 11-12. 
Rochester (Wis.)y suffrage work in, 15. 
Rock Hill Cemetery, in Sauk County, 110. 
Rock Island (111.), arsenal at, 374. 
Rock River Valley Railway Company, 

organized, 414. 
Rocky Mountains, pass through, 129-130. 
Rolette, Joseph, at Prairie du Chien, 33-34. 
Romain-Sur-Meuse (France), soldiers at, 


Rome (Italy), minister to, 236. 

Rood, Hosea W., patriotic instructor, 113. 

Roosevelt, Theodore, on forest conserva- 
tion, 107; in electoral campaigns, 158. 

Root, Eleazar, organizes State Historical 
Society, 245. 

Root River. See Racine. 

"Rosaline," criticized, 54-55. 

Rosenlecher, George, horseman, 239-240. 

Ross, , British officer, 239. 

Ross, Dr. Laura. See Dr. Laura Ross 

Rouge (Ruse, Rogue) River, in Michigan, 

Rounds, Lester, at Ceresco, 59. 

Routes of western travel, 389-390. 

Rune stone, Kensington, dlscassed, 212. 

Rupert, prince at English court, 358. 

Rusk, Jeremiah, governor of Wi.scoasin 
367-368, 372-374; during Milwaukei 
riots, 374-377; third term boom, 377; 
m parade, 377-378; successor, 378. 

Russell, H. L., on Wisconsin agricultural 
progress, 115. 

Rutgers College, graduate of, 264. 

Ryan, Edward G. ("Lobbv";, Racine 
lawyer, 333; in constitutional conven- 
tion, 343-345; opposes suffrage, 4. 

Sacramento River, floods valley, 132; 

descended, 140. 
St. Casimer's congregation in Manitowoc 

County, 159. 
St. Croix County, organized, 413. 
St. Jacques mission, site of, 382, 384, 388. 
St. John the Baptist Society, president, 39. 
St. Lawrence River, French colonv on, 


St. Leger (Belgium), soldiers in, 312-313. 
St. Mihiel (France), in World War, 312 

St. Nazaire (France), .soldiers in, 316. 
"St. Nazianz, A Unique Religious Colony," 

by W. A. Titus, 160-165. 
St. Pierre, Jacques le Gardeur de, French 

oflScer, 203. 
Salzer, John A., clergyman, 158-159. 
Sandusky (Ohio), visited, 397. 

Sanford, , horseman. 239. 

Sanger, J. Y., Chicago resident, 406-407. 

San Juan River, descended, 140-141. 

Santee Sioux, origin of name, 354. 

Saratoga (N. Y.), route via, 391. 

Sargent, James, letters to, 401. 

Sauk County, home of Nippert family, 1 10. 

Sauk Indians, language of, 385. 

Sault Ste. Marie, voyage to, 352-353; a 

rendezvous, 354. 
Schafer, Joseph, writes for Memorial Dai/ 

Annual, 113; "Documenting Local 

History," 142-159. 
Schenectady (N. Y.), college at. 330. 
School suffrage law, complication.s arising 

from, 16. 
Schools. See Education. 
Schultheis, Bernard, of First Wisconsin 

Cavalry, 298. 
Schurz, Carl, comes to Wi.sconsiii. 11. 
Scotch Bar ((^d ). trial at. I.i7. 
Scotch-Irish, ininiigrants. 119. 
Scott, Gen. Wintiold. nt West Point. 219. 
Second Wisconsin Infantry, in Civil War. 


Second Wisconsin Infantry, militia regi- 
ment. 378; niobilizo<i in Sj»«nisli- W;ir. 



Sedan (France), recovered by Allies, 311, 

Self-knotter, invented, 207. 

Senate Journal, cited, 6. 

Seneca Falls (N. Y.), described, 393. 

Seringes (France), in World War, 317. 

"Services (The) and Collections of Lyman 

Copeland Draper," by Louise Phelps 

Kellogg, 244-263. 
Seventh Wisconsin Infantry, lieutenant, 


Sevier Papers, in Draper Collection, 260. 
Seward, W. H., in Republican Convention 

of 1860, 99, 102-103, 294; secretary of 

state, 221. 

SeymoTu-, Horatio, New York politician, 

Seymour, William N., justice-of-the-peace, 

Shake Rag. See Mineral Point. 
Shasta City (Cal.), mining town, 132. 
Shaw, Anna Howard, aids Wisconsin 

suffrage cause, 18, 23. 
Shawano, Menominee village, 287. 
Shawano County, Indian reservation in, 


Shazer, Eliza, Pierce County pioneer, 413. 

Sheboygan, furnishes soldiers, 299. 

Sheffield (Ohio), described, 397. 

Shelby Papers, in Draper Collection, 260. 

Sheridan, Gen. Philip, in Wisconsin, 360. 

Sherman, Dr. John J., "History of Mari- 
nette," cited, 417-418. 

Sherman, William T., general, 70-71. 

Sholes, C. C, presents petitions for woman 
suffrage, 5-6; editor, 47; letter of, 

Sholes, C. L., editor, 4-5, 47. 

Short Hills (Mich.), crossed, 400. 

Sibley, Gen. H. H., lumberman, 37. 

Sierra Nevada, crossed, 131-132. 

Signal Corps, army service, 369. 

Silver Creek, in Manitowoc County, 144. 

Silver Lake, in Manitowoc County, 149. 

Silvy, Father Antoine, in Wisconsin, 382. 

Sinclair, Col. William, at court-martial, 

Sioux Indians, visited, 352, 354, 357; in 
Wisconsin, 411-412; hostilities with, 
242, 379. 

Siskiyou Moimtains, mining region, 132. 

Sitting Bull, Sioux chief, 242. 

Sixth Wisconsin Infantry, member. 111; 

surgeon, 360. 
Sky, Chippewa chief captures "Old Abe," 


Slavery, sentiment against, 157, 323. 
Sleutz family, in Sauk County, 110. 
Slim Buttes (S. Dak.), Indian fighting at, 

Smiley, Gen. Thomas T., papers of, 421- 

Smith, Capt. , sailor, 336. 

Smith, C. B., pioneer, 206. 
Smith, Charles, en route to Wisconsin, 403. 
Smith, Eldad, Racine school commissioner, 

Smith, Dr. Elias, patron of Racine College, 

Smith, George, of First Wisconsin Cavalry, 

Smith, George B., letters of travel, 401- 

407; sketch, 390-391. 
Smith, Lafayette, en route to Wisconsin, 


Smith, Lyman K., Racine school commis- 
sioner, 334. 

Smith, Mrs. Warren H., father of, 290. 

Smith, William, provost of University of 
Pennsylvania, 245. 

Smith, William Moore, poet, 245. 

Smith, William R., organizes State Histor- 
ical Society, 245-246; cited, 266. 

Smithsonian Institution, publishes Indian 
mounds survey, 105. 

Snakeskin, Winnebago chief, 203. 

Snow Lake, in Arizona, 241. 

Soapgrease, Obadiah, editor, 48. 

Social Forces, published by Wisconsin 
Woman's Suffrage Association, 24. 

Socialists, favor woman suffrage, 27. 

Society (The) and the State, 109-112. 

Society of the Divine Saviour, in Manito- 
woc County, 164. 

"Some War-time Letters," by Eldon J. 
Canright, 171-200, 301-319. 

Soule, Frank, West Point cadet, 234. 

Souligny, Menominee chief, 286. 

South Kaukauna, home of Stockbridges, 

South Pass, in Rocky Mountains, 129-130. 
Southport. See Kenosha. 
Southport American, cited, 276. 
Southport Telegraph, on woman suffrage, 

4-5; cited, 277. 
Spanish-American War, mobilization for, 


Sparks, Jared, opinion of Draper, 258-259. 
Springfield (111.), mass meeting at, 296. 
Stambaugh, Col. Samuel C, in Black 

Hawk War, 286. 
Stanton, Edwin M., secretary of war, 232, 

234; letters to, 341. 
Stanton, Elizabeth Cady, in Milwaukee, 9; 

in Janes ville, 12. 
State Agricultural Society Transactions, 

on forest trees, 105. 
State Historical Museum, founded, 250. 
State Retail Liquor Dealers' Protective 

Association, opposes woman suffrage, 




Statesburgh. See South Kaukauna. 
Stebbins, George H., at Ceresco, 59. 
Stephen, Adam, in Draper Manuscripts, 

Stewart, Mrs. L. R., member of "Impartial 

Suffrage Convention," 8. 
Stillman, Mrs. J. H., member of "Impartial 

Suffrage Convention," 8. 
Stilwell, Laban, at Ceresco, 59. 
Stilson, Eli II, diary of, 422-423. 
Stockbridge Indians, history of, 414-415. 
Stockholm, fort near, 412. 
Stone, Lucy, in Madison, 5, 14; letter, 8. 
Strasburg (Germany), emigrants leave, 160. 
Street, J. M., Indian agent, 206. 
Strong, Fannie A., of Racine, 334. 
Strong, Henry, burned to death, 332. 
Strong, Henry II, career, 334. 
Strong, Hezekiah Wright, lawyer, 330. 
Strong, Elder John, of Massachusetts, 330. 
Strong, Juliet, burned to death, 332. 
Strong, Marshall Mason, biographical 

sketch, 329-347; editor, 276; portrait, 


Strong, Moses M., Wisconsin pioneer, 330; 
lobbyist, 210; supports James R. Vine- 
yard, 270-271, 274, 279; president of 
Council, 278; on negro suffrage, 342- 
343; discusses suffrage, 4. 

Strong, Robert, died in infancy, 332. 

Strong, Simeon, justice of Massachusetts 
court, 330. 

Strong, Ullmann, career, 334. 

Strube, E., clergyman, 159. 

Stuart, , British horseman, 239- 


Stuart, James, at Ceresco, 59. 
Sully, Robert, artist, 250. 
Suite, Benjamin, papers of, 212. 
Summit (N. J.), resident, 334. 
Summit (Wis.), mounds near, 423. 
Summit County (Ind.), visited, 402. 
Summit Lake, on Milwaukee, Lake Shore 

and Western Railway, 416. 
Sunset Pass, in Arizona, 241. 
Superior, Indian council near, 354; street 

railway, 109. 
Superior Lake, first voyage to, 353-355; 

map of, 383. 
Survey of Historical Activities, 109-115. 

See also Historical Notes. 
Swallow, S. C, in electoral campaign, 158. 
Sweetwater River, tributary of the Platte, 


Swiss settlers, in New York, 395. 
Switzerland, King's visit to, 381. 
Sylvan (Mich.), visited, 400. 
Sylvan Grass Lake, in Michigan, 400. 
Syracuse (N. Y.), route via, 393. 
Taft, William H., in electoral campaign, 

Tallmadge, Gov. N. P., approves charter. 

Tanks, description of, 303-304. 

Tannery, in Manitowoc County, 163. 

Taverns, at Prairie du Chien, 34; at Chip- 
pewa Falls, 38. 

Tax Paying Woman's Pledge, text of, 18. 

Taylor, Isaac, donates land to Racine 
College, 335. 

Taylor, John, Wisconsin farmer, 207. 

Temperance, press discussion of, 4-5. 

Templo, race horse, 240. 

Tenney, H. A., and At wood, David (edi- 
tors). Memorial Record of the Falhers 
of Wisconsin, cited, 265. 

Third United States Infantry, officer, 378. 

Third Wisconsin Infantry, militia regiment, 
378; mobilized in Spanish- American 
War, 381. 

Thomas, Gen. George H., in U. S. army, 


Thomson, A. M., editor, 8. 
Thousand Spring Valley, on western route, 

Three Rivers (Can.), capture near, 350; 

resident, 359. 
Threshing, in pioneer days, 121-122. 
Tilden, Samuel J., in electoral campaign, 


Tipton, John, Indian agent, 411. 

Titus, W. A., "Historic Spots in Wiscon- 
sin," 57-62, 160-165, 284-289, 382- 
388; sketch, 112, 326. 

Todd, Alexander, at Ceresco, 58. 

Tonawanda Creek, in New York, 394. 

Tonner, J. A., letter of, 28. 

Tonto Apache. See Apache Indians. 

Toul (France), in World War, 317. 

Townsend, "Mandy," Civil War soldier, 

Tracy, Joseph S., at Ceresco, 59. 
Trench warfare, described, 178-180. 
Trevoy, William, teacher, 120. 
Trinity Mountains, camp on, 133. 
Troy (N. Y.), resident, 330-332. 
Turner Rifles, inspection, 373. 
Tursman, William, in World War, 188, 

Tweedy, John H., in Territorial Council, 

Twenty-third Wisconsin Infantry, member 
of", 207. 

Twiggs, Major David E.. builds Fort \\\n- 
nebago, 112; at Huttc dcs MotXs, i85- 

Ullmann, Eniilio M.. married. .S.S4. 
Ullmann. Isaac J.. Ba< ino banker. 334. 
Unclr Sam. sails for Nov York. 140. 
Union ColK'go. stu»lrnf. 3.S0 
Union drovo. sulTrngo work in. W. 



United States District Court for Western 

Wisconsin, marshal, 109. 
United States Supreme Court, decision, 19. 
United States Topographical Bureau, map, 


University of Wisconsin, military training 
at, 360-371; Athensean Society dis- 
cusses woman's rights, 5; Extension 
Division publication, 112-113. 

Upham, William H., enters West Point, 
221-222; governor of Wisconsin, 381. 

Upton, Gen. Emory, Infantry Tactics, 372. 

Utica (N. Y.), described, 392. 

Vermont, pioneers from, 330, 390-391. 
Verville, Charles Gautier de. See Gautier, 

Vineyard, James R., kills Charles C. P. 

Arndt, 265-283. 
Viroqua, significance of, 206-207. 
"Visions of a Wisconsin Gold Seeker," 

by J. H. A. Lacher, 290-292. 
"Vital Statistics of the First Wisconsin 

Cavalry in the Civil War," by Stanley 

E. Lathrop, 296-300. 
Voss (Norway), emigrants from, 166. 

Wabash River, Indian treaty on, 411. 
Wabasha, Indian chief, 412. 
Wagner, E., clergyman, 159. 
Wagner, Mary Swain, suffragist, 20. 
Wakuntschapinka. See Good Thunder. 
Walker, Judge Charles I., cited, 244. 
Walworth County, residents, 207, 390. 
War Bonnet Creek, fighting near, 242. 
War Department, issues rifles, 362; tactical 

orders, 372. 
Warren, Lyman, trader, 37. 
Warren, William W., "History of the 

Ojibwa," cited, 35-36. 
Washburn, Gov. Cadwallader C, letter to, 


Watertown Daily Times, issues suffrage 

editions, 25. 
Watkins, Aaron S., in electoral campaign, 


Watson, James C, University professor, 

Waubunsee, Potawatomi chief, 410-411. 
Waukesha, furnishes soldiers, 299. 
Waukesha American Freeman, editor of, 

Waunauko, Menominee chief, 286. 
Waupun, furnishes soldiers, 299. 
Wauwatosa, suffrage work in, 15. 
Wee-no-nah, Indian maiden, 412. 
Wekau, Winnebago Indian, 288. 
Welby, Mrs. Amelia B., poetess, 49-51. 
Welch, Henry, editor, 280. 
Welcome, British vessel, 204. 
Welsh, in Wisconsin, 414. 
West, , New York resident, 393. 

West, William E., artist, 422. 

Westmore, , horseman, 239. 

West Point Military Academy, life and cus- 
toms, 224-227, 364; librarian. 111. 

West Windsor (N. Y.), resident of, 422. 

Wheeler, Horace, historian of Racine Col- 
lege, 335. 

Wheeler, Gen. Joseph, Confederate leader, 

Whistler, William, army oflScer, 288. 
Whitehall (N. Y.), described, 391; road 

from, 395-396. 
Whitewater Register, champions suffragist 

cause, 15. 

Whitewater Woman Suffrage Club, organ- 
ized, 15. 

Whitford, William C, introduces suffrage 

measure, 9. 
Whitney, Daniel, builds sawmill, 205. 
Whittemore, Don, railway engineer, 361. 
Wild rice, methods of gathering, 356. 
Williams, Eleazar, "lost Dauphin," 287. 
Williams College, graduate of, 245. 
Willis's tavern, on Chicago road, 336. 
Wills, Mademoiselle Therese, founds school, 


Wilson, Amasa, pioneer, 206. 
Wilson, Gen. James Grant, editor, 43. 
Wilson, Walter, poet, 53. 
Wilson, Woodrow, in electoral campaigns, 

Winnebago County, Indian sites in, 382. 
Winnebago Indians, significance of name, 
409-410, 419; visited by Nicolet, 

201- 202; habitat, 123-124, 285; chiefs, 

202- 203; burial ground, 285; hostili- 
ties, 288. 

Winnebago Marsh. See Horicon Marsh, 

Winneshiek, Winnebago chief, 203. 

Winona (Minn.), Indians at, 412. 

Winslow, H. G., superintendent of Racine 
schools, 335. 

Winslow, John B., decision on school suf- 
frage, 16-17; eulogized, 113. 

Wiota, in mming district, 123. 

Wisconsin, first constitutional convention, 
3-4, 334, 342-345, 390-391 ; governor's 
contest with legislature, 407; ratifica- 
tion of constitution, 4, 343-346; second 
constitutional convention, 4, 344; 
statutes revised, 344; immigrants to, 
389-407; first French traders in, 348- 
359; first habitation, 353; National 
Guard in, 371-379; French explora- 
tions in, 382-388; suffrage struggle in, 
3-32; first literary magazine, 43-56; 
Arndt episode, 271-283; during Civil 
War, 296-300; World War, 157. 

Wisconsin Citizen, aids suffrage cause, 17- 



Wisconsin Domesday Book, contents of, 

Wisconsin legislature. Assembly Journal, 
cited, 209. 

Wisconsin Monthly Magazine, first appears, 

Wisconsin Phalanx, history of, 57-62. 
Wisconsin River, Dells of, 204-206; route 
to, 383. 

Wisconsin State Agricultural Society, presi- 
dent of, 423. 

Wisconsin State Agricultural Society 
Transactions, cited, 408; on forest 
trees, 105. 

Wisconsin State Bar Association Proceed- 
ings, cited, 264. 

Wisconsin State Historical Society, new 
members, 109, 212, 325, 421; Land- 
marks Committee, 112; secretary of, 
244-263; Historical Collections, 251, 
282; annual address, 246-247. 

Wisconsin Supreme Court, judge of, 120; 
decisions, 17, 413. 

Wisconsin Traveling Library and Study 
Club, aid. 111. 

Wisconsin University. See University of 

Wisconsin Woman's Suffrage Association, 
organized, 14-15; dissolved, 3; at 
Monona Lake Assembly, 18; work of, 
21-32; holds school in Madison, 24; 
publications of, 24; represented in Chi- 
cago parade, 25; aids in World War, 
29-30; committees of, 30-31; Dollar 
Campaigns of, 31. 

"Wisconsin's First Literary Magazine," by 
M. M. Quaife, 43-56. 

"Wisconsin's Saddest Tragedy," by M. M. 
Quaife, 264-283. 

Wisner, Thomas J., editor, 341. 

Wolcott, Dr. Laura Ross, Milwaukee suf- 
fragist, 9, 14-15; in Madison, 11. 

Wolf River, mouth of, 383, 388. 
Woman suffrage, in Wisconsin, .S-32. 
Woman Suffrage Association of the State 

of Wisconsin, first organized, 3, 11. 
Women, property rights of, 4; obtain school 

suffrage in Wisconsin, 16; vote in 

Milwaukee election, 17; enfranchised, 


Women's Oversea Hospital, in World War, 

Wood, Caroline E., married, 290. 
Wood, Daniel, gold seeker, 291. 
Wood, N. Delavan, editor, 341. 
Woodforde-Finden, Amy, composer, 111. 
Woodward, Col. George A., editor, 379- 

Woodworth, Mrs. Horace J., death of, 121. 
Worden, Admiral John L., son of, 222. 
World War, hastens woman suffrage, 29; 

officer in, 111; letters of, 171-200, 301- 


Wright, Charles S., donates land to Racine 

College, 335. 
Wright, Edward M., West Point cadet, 2,'Jl. 
Wright, George, baseball player, 239. 
Wurttemberg, emigrant from, 159. 

Yale College, graduates, 330, 334. 

Yellow Creek, in Manitowoc County, 1 44. 

Yellow Hand, Cheyenne chief, 242. 

Yorke, Louis S., daughter of, 240. 

Youmans, Theodora W., "How Wi.sconsin 
Women Won the Ballot," 3-.32; edits 
Wisconsin Citizen, 17; president of 
Wisconsin Woman's Suffrage A.ssocia- 
tion, 24; sketch, 112. 

Young, Edward, publisher, 45-47; i>oct, 51. . 

Ypsilanti (Mich.), visited, 399-400. 

ZoLLicoFFER, Gcu. Felix K., Confederate 

officer, 421 ; letters of, 422. 
Zouaves, military company, 292; tactics in 

National Guard, 372.